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Monday, October 22, 2007

Dynamo Kiev Vs. Manchester United Match Preview

Dynamo Kiev coach Josef Szabo is taking a cautious approach to Tuesday's Champions League clash with Manchester United. The veteran coach, who took over at the helm for the fourth time last month, acknowledges overcoming Sir Alex Ferguson's men will not be easy but insists his team will not be overawed by the occasion. He told the pre-match press conference: ``They United have proved in their play that they are one of the best teams in the world and led by one of the best and most stable bosses around.

``To say that we will definitely go out and win against them would be silly. ``But as the saying goes, `if you are afraid of wolves, then don't go in the forest'. ``When going out onto the field of play, you cannot be afraid. ``There will be butterflies, I can't deny, but after the warm-up those nerves disappear. ``I don't think we should fear Manchester United. It's possible to play against the English. You just have to show character.

``Against English clubs you have to play with the utmost caution - one mistake can cause big problems. ``Therefore, above all else, I'll be calling for extreme caution from my players.'' Dynamo have lost their opening two Group F matches and need to avoid defeat against the English champions if they are going to keep any dreams of qualification for the next stage alive.

Defender Andriy Nesmachny is fully aware that a loss would spell the end of his side's hopes. ``If we are defeated, then we lose all hope of progressing from the group,'' he said. ``The lads are built up to beat Manchester United, to find the key that will unlock our opponents and earn three points. ``That's going to be very important for us.''

Dynamo have been boosted by news that Brazilian Michael looks set to return up front after missing the 2-1 defeat to Sporting Lisbon, but former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov is still nursing an injury and will miss Tuesday's game. There is also a question mark over the participation of midfielder Taras Mikhalik because of an ankle injury.

Despite some shaky performances of late for both club and country, veteran goalkeeper Aleksandr Shovkovsky is expected to keep his place in goal. United, meanwhile, will be looking to maintain their 100% start to Group F in the Ukrainian capital. Ferguson feels Wayne Rooney's fledgling strike partnership with Carlos Tevez bears all the hallmarks matching the deeds of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.

Although many pundits felt Rooney and Tevez were too alike to forge an effective union, their two games together so far suggest otherwise. Four goals against Wigan immediately before the international break and another four at Aston Villa straight afterwards have quelled all talk of the Red Devils' early-season scoring struggles.

Ferguson is now preparing to let Rooney and Tevez loose on the European stage for the first time in the Olympic Stadium. ``We have had some fantastic partnerships at this club over the years,'' said Ferguson. ``The first season with Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke was incredible but most of them do take time. ``What you have to remember is that Wayne is 22 next week and Carlos is only 23, so they are only young players.

In three or four years it might be something special. ``Both have great attributes. They have speed and courage and they are able to beat a man, so all the things are there.'' Nemanja Vidic is in line for a recall after missing Saturday's win at Villa following concussion. Cristiano Ronaldo will play after sitting out the four-goal rout at Villa Park, with countryman Nani most likely to stand down. Read more...

Vidic will face Kyiv

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Nemanja Vidic will play against Dynamo Kyiv as United look to continue their 100% record in this season's Champions League.

The Serb has been suffering the after-effects of concussion sustained against Wigan at the start of October, but the United manager told a press conference on Monday that Vidic will feature against the Ukrainian champions.

Sir Alex said: "There won't be many changes from Saturday. Vidic will come in and we may make one other change, but that's all."

It is likely that Gerard Pique will make way at the Olympiyskiy Stadium, allowing Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to resume their partnership at the heart of the United defence.

United squad: Van der Sar, Kuszczak; Ferdinand, Brown, Vidic, Evra, Pique, Simpson; O'Shea, Ronaldo, Scholes, Giggs, Anderson, Nani, Fletcher, Eagles; Rooney, Tevez Read more...

Tevez-Rooney show is a big hit

If strikers Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney are not a good partnership then it must be said that Morecambe and Wise were not funny. Before Aston Villa had two players sent off to unbalance a decent match, Tevez and Rooney had cut them apart with intelligence and skill. “The performance was absolutely superb,” said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. “Our best of the season.” He has been told that Rooney and Tevez were too similar, that it would not work. Well, he was right, we were wrong. Rio Ferdinand said of the Tevez and Rooney double act: "Today the myth about Tevez and Rooney not being able to play together was put to bed. We knew that as a team but they put it on show and their movement and awareness around each other was unbelievable."
John Wragg, Daily Express

Sir Alex's tactical dilemma

Sir Alex Ferguson is pondering whether to stick with the burgeoning strike partnership of Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez or go with a three-man central midfield in Kyiv on Tuesday night.

In plummeting temperatures in the Ukrainian capital, the United boss oversaw training at the Olympic Stadium, in which he was buoyed by the sight of a fit Nemanja Vidic taking part in the full training session.

But he has a selection dilemma further up the field. Rooney, who scored twice against Aston Villa at the weekend, proved his partnership with Tevez is starting to click.

Sir Alex has already stated that he believes Dynamo Kyiv – yet to pick up any points in Group F so far – have no option but to attack the Reds. The decision now is how best to counter Dynamo's approach; whether to meet the Ukrainians with the Tevez-Rooney axis that is performing so well domestically, or revert to the lone striker with three central midfielders used against Sporting Lisbon.

“In Tevez and Rooney we have too exceptionally good footballers,” the manager said at his pre-match press conference in Kyiv. “They are both such strong players and a real threat to defenders.

“It makes them a real consideration for tomorrow, their form is good enough,” he added. “There is the tactical part to consider.

“I would have liked to have had Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves here. They are ideal European players. We don’t have either of them, but we have good options. There’s Paul Scholes, Anderson, Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea.

“We may go with three players in the middle, as we did in Lisbon. That is certainly a possibility. Whatever we do, the intention will be to try and win the match because the rewards are great for us.

“It’s an important game for Kyiv. They will be wanting to win the match and I expect them to have a go. We see it as an opportunity for us because Roma and Sporting Lisbon have a double header against each other.

"From our point of view you would hope they take points off each other. If we can win our games against Dynamo Kyiv then it puts us in a strong position [to win the group].

“The best thing to do is to try and approach the game trying to win it. And that is exactly what we will be doing.” Read more...