Champions League 3rd qualifying round second leg (1st leg result in brackets)
Manchester United v Dinamo Bucharest (2-1)
Manchester United go into their UEFA Champions League qualifier second leg at Old Trafford tonight against Dinamo Bucharest with a slender 2-1 advantage.
Sir Alex Ferguson, whose squad is still crippled with injury, recalls Kleberson and Darren Fletcher. Kleberson comes back following a knee injury he picked up when playing for Brazil in last month’s Copa America. Fletcher returns having served a suspension.
Kleberson and Fletcher will figure in midfield alongside Eric Djemba-Djemba. The Cameroon international looks certain to hold his place, as Ferguson has been critical of out-of-form Philip Neville.
The younger of the Neville brothers had a poor pre-season and is struggling for a start, even in United’s injury ravaged squad.
The boss said: “Eric has done fantastically well for us and is showing the benefit of a year at the club.
“Phil has not shown his form yet but he will. He has been patient and will get plenty of football. You can be sure of that.”
Christiano Ronaldo looks likely to start the match on the bench. The 18-year-old has recently returned from Portugal’s Olympics squad and will be bought on if necessary.
With Diego Forlan’s departure to Villarreal and injuries to Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solskaer, Alan Smith will lead the front-line possibly with deputising striker Paul Scholes.
Dinamo are a troubled club reeling from the threat of a player strike. The squad was fined a week’s wages for failing to show at a training camp causing possible industrial action.
They lost to arch rivals Steaua Bucharest last weekend but skipper Florentin Petre remains optimistic.
He said: “It’s important to obtain a favourable result. In football nothing is certain.”
Rangers v CSKA (1-2)
Rangers must overcome a 2-1 deficit over CSKA Moscow at Ibrox tonight if they want to be in Thursday’s group draw.
But the Russians are in confident mood and coach, Valeri Gazzaev, has a fully fit squad to chose from.
CSKA are boosted by the return of influential centre back Sergei Ignashevic.
The Russian team’s Czech Republic star, Jiri Janos, scored the only goal in the first game. And Janos expects his team to score again in Glasgow, which would require the Gers to score at least twice.
He said: “It’s hard to assess our chances of progression but I reckon we can score one or two goals at Ibrox which would put us in an excellent position.”
Rangers’ midfielder, Alex Rae misses the match after receiving a five-match ban. The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body suspended the Scotsman for gross misconduct after the referee missed an incident where it appeared he kicked Serguei Dadu in the head.
Djurgardens v Juventus (1-1)
Djurgardens hope to cause the biggest shock of the qualifying rounds when they try to eliminate Juventus in Sweden tonight.
Fabio Capello’s Italian giants had to come back from two goals down in the first leg at the Stadio Delle Alpi and rescue a 2-2 draw.
Both teams have no injury worries but Juve’s French defender, Lillian Thuram, feels his side must approach the game more positively.
He said: “In the first leg we pushed forward only when we realised we were in a dangerous situation. Now we have to attack from the first minute.”
Djurgarden boss, Kjell Jonevret, is confident his side can become heroes and qualify for the group stages for the first time in their history.
He said: “We have to dare to go forward. We can’t sit back. We expect Juventus to go forward and if we attack, we will be better off. We are not afraid; we are here to create history.”
Real Madrid v Wilsa Krakow (2-0)
Real Madrid remain on course for qualification as they entertain Wisla Krakow at the Bernabeu tonight.
Real lead 2-0 on aggregate and are expected to overcome their Polish visitors. Walter Samuel starts at the back for the Spanish giants who are without new defender Jonathan Woodgate as he is not 100 percent fit.
Real coach, Jose Camacho, is expected to start with Raul and Ronaldo with new signing Michael Owen on the bench.
Michel Salgado returns for Real after nursing a knee injury and Luis Figo is expected to start on the right with David Beckham playing in his preferred central midfield.
Wisla coach Henry Kasperczak remains upbeat and refuses to accept the tie is beyond them. He has no injury worries and is expected to start with the same team that won over the weekend in the domestic league.
This includes Maciej Zurawski who became only the 24th player to score 100 times in the Polish top-flight.
PSV v Red Star Belgrade (2-3)
PSV Eindhoven have a tough match versus Red Star Belgrade in Holland tonight.
PSV lost the first leg 3-2 and are without captain Phillip Cocu who misses the match with pneumonia.
He said: “Although I have been given some medication, I will not be able to play for a week.”
Red Star coach, Ljupko Pterovic, will field the same midfield packed team that won the match in Belgrade. And he concedes that the best form of defence tonight may be to attack.
He said: “We certainly need to score. PSV score easily, but they also concede easily, and we have to dominate midfield. I am only afraid of my young player’s ability to handle pressure.”
Trabzonspor v Dynamo Kiev (2-1)
Turkish team Trabzonspor are striving to reach the group stages for the first time when they host Dynamo Kiev.
Trabzonspor won the first leg in Ukraine 2-1 but coach, Ziya Dogan, is taking nothing for granted.
He said: “I hope the team that deserves to win qualifies – hopefully that will be us.”
The Ukrainians go into the match with a new coach. Olexiy Mikhaylichenko was sacked after the first leg and has been replaced by Joszef Szabo.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv v PAOK (3-0)
Another potential group stage newcomer, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, are overwhelming favourites to earn a place in Thursday’s draw when they play PAOK Salonika.
The Israeli team had their 2-1 first-leg victory in Greece turned into a 3-0 success by UEFA after PAOK fielded an ineligible player.
Maccabi’s Brazilian midfield player Bruno Reis said: “PAOK have nothing to lose and will play like a team possessed. We should use our heads and play with a lot of composure.”
Club Bruges v Shaktar Donetsk (1-4)
Club Bruges seek to overturn a massive 4-1 deficit against Shaktar Donetsk in Brussels tonight.
Bruges coach, Trond Sollied, has promised an attacking approach in the second leg.
He said: “We have to take risks because we have to score goals. Do not expect any tactical surprises – I will put together an offensive team.”
Sparta Prague v Ferencvaros (0-1)
Ferencvaros of Hungary reached the Champions League once in 1995 and hope to repeat the feat tonight.
They travel to Czech Republic defending a 1-0 lead when they play Sparta Prague.
Sparta’s coach, Frantis ek Straka, said his side would play patiently.
He commented: “It would be suicidal to risk everything attacking as our opponents are very strong on the break.”
Ferencvaros captain, Peter Lipcsei, is injured and misses the match.
Banik Ostrava v Bayer Leverkusen (0-5)
Meanwhile, Bayern Leverkeusen go to Banik Ostrava defending a 5-0 cushion.
The German team should ease through but coach Klaus Augenthaler is not being overconfident.
He said: “We must not make a mistake in the first 15 minutes.”