Manchester United defender Patrice Evra may be fit to face Galatasary

 

Patrice Evra is in line for a return to the Manchester United starting line-up in their Champions League opener against Galatasary at Old Trafford tomorrow after reporting for training this morning.

The France full-back missed Saturday's win over Wigan with a minor knock suffered on international duty and was forced to watch as new arrival Alex Buttner made an eye-catching debut.

While Evra will still be regarded as first-choice left-back, Buttner's goal, assist and overall solid performance suggests the 31-year-old has greater competition for his place than in previous years.

With the exception of Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, United look like being at full strength for the visit of the Turkish side.

Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa were both training, along with midfielder Darren Fletcher, who is closing in on a long-awaited comeback from a chronic bowel condition.

After last year's catastrophe when United were knocked out in the group stage, Sir Alex Ferguson has already asserted there will be no repeat this year.

It is one of the reasons why he took no chances with the fitness of Van Persie at the weekend and midfielder Ryan Giggs is in no doubt about the key to United's success.

He said: "Robin has the experience of playing in Europe with Arsenal.

"The goals he has got will hopefully give us that extra edge this season.

"Shinji is that kind of player who will thrive in Europe, where possession is key.

"He keeps the ball and gets into positions where he is hard to pick up.

"I am sure they will both be very good additions in Europe for us."

Giggs added: "We need to win our home games.

"Usually 10 or more points gets you through, which means winning at home and trying to draw away.

"We didn't manage it last year because we didn't perform at Old Trafford the way we have done in the past."

PA

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