Sir Alex Ferguson leaves Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie at home for Turkish trip
Ferguson also left out Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, skipper Patrice Evra and top scorer Robin van Persie
Tuesday 20 November 2012
Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have both been left in Manchester and will not play in tonight's game in Istanbul. The two strikers have arguably been United's most important players this season but, having won all four games so far, the club have already confirmed not just qualification but also that they will win Group H. Seeding for the last 16 draw is therefore guaranteed.
Goalkeeper David De Gea and veterans Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have also missed the trip. So, too, has the injured Shinji Kagawa, who the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, confirmed last night will be out for a second month with a knee injury.
The result is a notably young 21-man squad, providing the chance to for some junior players to get a taste of a unique foreign atmosphere. Javier Hernandez is likely to partner Danny Welbeck up front, with the Mexican striker's good form bring seven goals in his last six games.
First-team midfielders Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Anderson and Ashley Young have all travelled. There may also be opportunities for Ryan Tunnicliffe, 19, or 18-year-old Nick Powell, signed from Crewe Alexandra in the summer.
Phil Jones, who has not played all season, may return in defence alongside Rafael, Alexander Buttner and Scott Wootton. Anders Lindegaard should continue in goal.
Squad: Johnstone, Lindegaard; Rafael, Buttner, Jones, Thorpe, Vermijl, Wootton; Carrick, Petrucci, Cole, Cleverley, Fletcher, Anderson, Powell, Young, Tunnicliffe; Hernandez, King, Welbeck, Macheda.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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