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A depleted Rangers side will face the big men from down south, Manchester United in the Champions League tomorrow and both sides have a lot at stake. For Rangers, its obvious they need to win and win big to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League. For United, a win is also required in order to be sure of finishing top of the group, but more important will be the return of Wayne Rooney to the starting line up.

Rangers come into tonights match nursing a series of injuries. Defenders Sasa Papac, Madjid Bougherra, and Andy Webster, plus midfielder Maurice Edu and strikers James Beattie and Nikica Jelavic, are all out injured which has some serious ramifications for Rangers formation. Normally, they tend to play a more defensive type of football with 4 men back, but with so many players out they may have to play a more aggressive formation like those they use against there domestic opponents. Now they may have been able to fill out some sort defensive formation by cobbling it together from second team players, but without Papac, the house won’t have any mortar.

The concussion Papac received a few weeks ago during league play was quite serious, and the wound it left required ten stitches, so I have serious doubts that he will have fully recovered. As a recipient of a few hard knocks on the head myself, i know for a fact anything that draws blood and leaves a concussion takes months, not weeks to fully recover from. Balance usual takes 3 weeks, and normal cognition can take up to 9 months to come back. I seriously doubt he has trained much, let alone is fit enough to face the men in Manchester United jerseys.

Manchester United are also dogged by injuries for tomorrows match, but thankfully they have made a dynasty out of playing with a squad of half way broken down squads. United central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and midfielder Darren Fletcher, will be rested, most likely due to undisclosed injuries, or worries about injuries. Wayne Rooney is set to start, and his performance will most likely tell the tale from Ferguson’s perspective as he needs his former top striker at top form for the more competitive Premier League.

Look for a wide open affair marked by tactical as well as personal aggression as both teams play an attacking formation. Overall, I’m looking forward to it.

Man Utd 2- 0 Rangers

Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com


About the author: Matthew Wall


I've played soccer since I could walk thanks to my father and love keeping up on all the latest gear and gab. I'm in my twenties, and I'm lucky enough to have found work in search marketing for a leading soccer retailer after completing my M.A. at Georgetown in 2008. My team is Liverpool, and national side is Ireland, but I've also got a passion for GAA and a number of sports. Feel free to give me a shout on Google+


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