Manchester Unitedv Bayer Leverkusen
Olympiakos v Maccabi Haifa
Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded an improved performance from his players ahead of their Champions League game with Bayer Leverkeusen.
Both sides are already assured qualification, but the Scot is looking for a morale boosting victory. Ferguson is still smarting from the poor display his sideproduced in their 3-1 derby defeat by City on Saturday.
Long term injuries to Brown, Butt and Keane mean the Old Trafford manager is unable to make substantial changes to his side.
Possible changes though are John O’Shea replacing ageing French defender Laurent Blanc and David Beckham taking Phil Neville’s place in midfield. The much maligned Juan Veron is likely to start the match.
Ferguson has also backed mis-firing striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy to rediscover his goal-scoring touch.
He said: “Ruud is one of the best finishers you’ll get. His speed of finishing is fantastic – the key is to create the chances for him.”
With qualification already confirmed Bayer Leverkeusen’s coach, Klaus Toppmoller, has decided to rest Lucio, Oliver Neuville and Bernd Scheider for the trip to Manchester.
Last season’s runners-up will also be without the suspended Yildiray Basturk. They are likely to be replaced by under-21 internationals Hanno Blitsch and Christoph Preuss with striker Thomas Brdaric replacing Neuville.
In the group’s other game, Olympiakos will be eliminated from European competition if they fail to beat Haifa at least 3-0 at the Gipedo Rizoupolis stadium.
For Haiifa, Lithuanian international Raimondas Zutautas, is missiing through injury, leaving coach Yitzhak Shum to choose between Eyal Almoshnino and Michael Zandberg to play alongside Walid Badir. Nigerian defender Eric Ejiofor has recovered from a knee injury, while Arik Benado is expected to replace Avishay Zano at right-back.
For Olympiakos, under their third manager of the season, former Slonia coach Srecko Katanec, Giorgios Anatolakis is their main injury doubt and Giorgios Amanatidis stands by to replace his fellow defender.
Ze Elias is suspended, so Paraskevas Antzas will partner Christian Karembeu in midfield. Up front, Lampros Choutos is injured, leaving Giovanni and Alexis Alexandris to start.