Group B – Kick-off 19:45 (BST)
Manchester United are sure of their place in the Champions League first knockout round but manager Sir Alex Ferguson is still keen on a win over Besiktas to increase their chance of winning Group B.
“We’re in a good position, we have qualified,” said the United boss. “It’s always an issue whether it makes a difference finishing first or second in the group, but we’ll try to be number one.
“We will be playing some of the younger players but we’re not sure about formation just at the moment, we’re still looking at analysis of Besiktas. Their form has been transformed in the last six [league] matches, they have won them all and on Saturday they beat the top-of-the-league side 3-0 so they’re in very good form.
“We’ll do our best to try and challenge the younger players who will play. [Darron] Gibson will definitely play, as will Rafael. It’s a great challenge for the young players. We’ll look at starting [Gabriel] Obertan and maybe have a look at Ji-Sung Park’s fitness.”
Besiktas, fresh from beating Fenerbahce 3-0 on Saturday, are three points adrift of CSKA Moscow, who hold the Europa League qualifying place, and coach Mustafa Denizli is actually hoping United field as strong a side as possible.
“Going back to the first game in Istanbul against United, Besiktas played good football, as we did against Wolfsburg, but the results didn’t go our way,” he said. “As a coach I’d almost prefer to be able to set up my team knowing we’ll be against the Manchester United first-choice team, with more familiar players that we in Turkey know more about.
“Besiktas will go out with our own game plan, but our future is not just in our hands. It all depends on how we do and what other teams do too. Our aim is to always go as far as possible in Europe.
“United’s approach is that they want to win every game regardless of the position they’re in. They may have already qualified but they’ll want to win, because that’s what United always strive to do.
Even if they do play some youngsters, those may well be stars of the future. For example Rafael and Gibson will definitely be stars – I’m 100 per cent sure of that.”