Manchester United is getting set for the initial Champions League match of the new season. As normal for a big club like United expectations are huge. Manchester United is one of those clubs that everybody wants to beat, regardless of what type of competition is taking place. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to see his squad deliver a better performance than last year, according to ManUtd.com. Considering the squad was bounced from last year's competition, the entire organization should be hungry for a great result.
I would think United has to have a great chance of making it past the group stages and into the knockout round of the Champions League, but then again, I thought that last year. I also watched the Red Devils fall out of the competition and then out of the Europa League, last year was a tough time in Europe. So does United have what it takes to make a run at the UEFA Champions League title? Of course they do, just like all the clubs in the competition. Granted, the richer clubs, like United and Manchester City, have a better chance than smaller clubs, but everyone has a chance right now.
When Galatasaray visit Old Trafford on September 19, the team will be facing a Manchester United squad that is playing some great football. While questions about the lineup persist, I would imagine Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa will both be on the pitch for the Red Devils. I think the more interesting question is who is in goal for the Champions League clash, because right now I would have to give the edge to Anders Lindegaard over David de Gea. According to the Telegraph, the role of keeper could well be split between the two for the foreseeable future.
When it comes to the art of balancing the Champions League and Premier League, Sir Alex is up to the challenge. However, the glut of quality players that will be available to him should make his life fairly easy, even with an interesting match against Liverpool on the weekend schedule. Van Persie, Hernandez, and Welbeck seem to work well together up front, and when Wayne Rooney returns everybody up front will be able to get adequate rest. Of course, opening the Champions League at Old Trafford makes a great deal of difference, because United supporters will be on hand to give the squad a lift.
Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.