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How Will United Line-Up In Rome

As Fergie has gone out of his way to prove he can do even rotation better than Rafa Benitez, it's become an almost impossible task to predict our starting eleven for any given game. I'll give it a try though.

Roma, as it happens, play a very similar style - in fact, I think that their 4-2-3-1 inspired Fergie and Queiroz to create the fluid, flexible attacking unit that's terrorising the Premiership right now.

In order to stifle their quick, skilled, mobile midfielders, Fergie will surely field three central mids. With Carrick in blazing form, he can't be left out, Hargreaves has been signed for these games I think and Anderson proved he can do the job on the big stages.

Therefore all three should start, relegating Paul Scholes onto the bench which is perhaps all the more fortunate as he was dismissed in this fixture a year ago. Starting him and Giggs with only one holding midfielder would be an unaffordable luxury now.

Having said that, I think Giggs will start. He will be part of that revolving front three with Rooney and Ronaldo. Nani's absence has strengthened his claim to be in the starting eleven, despite coming off in the dying seconds of the Villa game with a minor injury.

Tevez will probably be back on the bench though I would start him in the place of Giggs as we need pace to stretch Roma's sometimes fragile backline. It's possible Fergie will also come to this conclusion but it seems more probable that he will opt for Giggs' experience.

The defense, of course, picks itself. On the bench we'll have Kuszczak, O'Shea, Scholes, Park, Pique, Tevez and Eagles available.

The exact formation is hard to guess. I described Roma's tactics as 4-2-3-1 but you could go as far as claiming it's in fact a 4-6-0. United's is similar but I think this time it will be closer to a 4-3-3 than anything else, as that could help to negate the influence of Aquilani and De Rossi. It's a boost that they probably won't start in tandem at the holding midfield positions as Aquilani will be needed behind the lone striker (Vucinic) to do the job of the suspended Simone Perrotta.

United (probable): Van der Sar - Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra - Hargreaves, Anderson, Carrick - Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs.

Roma (probable): Doni - Cicinho, Juan, Mexes, Cassetti - De Rossi, Pizarro - Mancini, Aquilani, Taddei - Vucinic




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 31 2008

Time: 10:58AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I think you've got it spot on Zae.It's going to be a tough game.Tevez to come on in the last 20 and snatch it for us ;)
java
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31/03/2008 14:13:00

a Tough game???... I don't think so... they got hammered last season, so I'm really optimistic, I believe we can knock them out easily.
Star 3000
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31/03/2008 14:42:00

We hammered them at OT last year which was a complete one off.Was the game in Rome tough last year???
java
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31/03/2008 15:13:00

Roma are dangerous. Last season at OT was a blip. You don't often get the same thing twice. If you do beat them, I think it'll only be by one or two goals AGG. They're very good when they're on form and they'll want revenge.
The_Legend_Of_Zola
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31/03/2008 16:00:00

Agreed.
java
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31/03/2008 16:14:00

united to win 1-0 in rome and 2-0 at home safely through to next round!
fenton_01
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31/03/2008 16:18:00

i hope to have it sealed before the second leg but id take 1-0 to us
rooneyisgod
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31/03/2008 17:00:00

well chuffed that totti is out cos hes their top scorer this season i think. well excited to see how anderson will get on on the big stage!
ercy
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31/03/2008 20:11:00

Giggs has got to start.
welshboy78
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31/03/2008 22:26:00

The Roma game last year was tough because Scholes was sent off. Could have still ended 2-1 but also maybe 1-1 like early this year.
Paulinho
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01/04/2008 04:34:00

Come on United, keep the momentum going!
Tosswink
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01/04/2008 11:32:00

a one nil defeat would not be the end of the world. id prefer to lose today then on saturday
rooneyisgod
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01/04/2008 13:15:00

With almost all his squad to choose from, i can't see Roma bieng a problem over 2 legs
cyjax
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01/04/2008 13:44:00

Ronnie with the all important away goal...yeesssssss :))
java
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01/04/2008 21:02:00

 

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