Date:Monday December 10 2007
Sir Alex Ferguson has promised to play a completely different team in Rome to the one that beat Derby County on Saturday.
With qualification and top spot in the group already secured, United can travel to Rome without any concerns. We can afford to rest our stars and Fergie will do that.
'It is a golden opportunity for us and we are not going to miss it,' he said.
'Roma have qualified, so they will probably play some younger players and so will we.
'I will take a lot of the first-team squad with me because I need 18 players but it will be an almost completely different team.'
It is believed that Van der Sar, Ryan Giggs and Owen Hargreaves are certain to be left home, with further players to be left behind. I would not even consider taking Rooney, Ronaldo, Saha, Evra, Ferdinand and Vidic, seeing that we have a vital game coming up on Sunday. Therefore, my 18-men squad would be this:
Kuszczak, Heaton, Lee, Brown, O'Shea, Pique, Evans, Eckersley, Simpson, Fletcher, Carrick, Eagles, Anderson, Hewson, Nani, Dong, Campbell, Tevez.
Dong Fangzhou, according to the rumours, is set to start - he's got a lot to make up for after the terribly ineffectual performance against Chelsea and the similarly toothless displays during pre-season...
However, it seems that my squad is not strong enough for SAF...
"Now there's a chance for the likes of Jonny Evans, Gerard Pique, Danny Simpson and Chris Eagles to elevate themselves," he said. "We know all about their ability but this is an opportunity for them to prove themselves.
"They won't be on their own, though. They'll have back-up from players like John O'Shea, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Louis Saha, Nani and Anderson. Cristiano Ronaldo might possibly be involved as well.
"We're not in the habit of sending teams out to lose. We'll be sending out a time that we think is good enough to win."
If either Ronald or Saha gets injured in such a meaningless game, I'll be furious, along with many, many, many United fans...
Date:Monday December 10 2007
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