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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

O'Shea hopes Bhoys attack

John O’Shea believes Celtic’s expected attacking approach in Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Parkhead could play right into United’s hands.

Gordon Strachan’s men know a win over the Group E leaders is imperative if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the competition.

A United victory, coupled with a win or a draw for Villarreal in Aalborg, would officially end Celtic's hopes. For that reason, O’Shea fully expects the Bhoys to go all out for victory, but believes that tactic may suit the Reds.

“Celtic will have to come out and try to win the game and that could be to our benefit because of the way we can hit teams on the counter-attack,” the Irishman told MUTV.

“They may have a couple of strikers back fit meaning they'll have a bigger physical presence up front. So we'll have to make sure we deal with that.”

Sir Alex’s men totally outplayed Celtic in the corresponding fixture during the 2006/07 group stages, but a combination of poor finishing and a missed penalty, as well as a stunning free-kick from Shunsuke Nakamura, resulted in a 1-0 defeat.

Despite being in a strong position at the top of Group E, O’Shea says it’s vital the Reds leave Glasgow with at least a point.

“It'll be a tough away game and the crowd will be like an extra man for them, but we'll be looking to pick up something,” he said.

“We're then away to Villarreal and home to Aalborg so we’re in a strong postition, but we won't count our chickens just yet. There is still work to be done.”

Wes and Edwin miss Celtic trip

Aside from long-term injury victims Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves, Wes Brown and Edwin van der Sar were the only two Reds left in Manchester as the squad flew out to Scotland on Tuesday afternoon.

An ankle knock has kept Brown out of United's last two games and he also missed training on Tuesday morning at Carrington.

Van der Sar, meanwhile, has been rested with Ben Foster set to be handed his Champions League debut against Celtic on Wednesday night.

The squad trained at Carrington on Tuesday morning ahead of their trip to Celtic Park. Victory over Gordon Strachan's men will ensure the Reds' a safe passage through to knock-out stages of the competition.

The travelling squad: Kuszczak, Foster; Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, O'Shea, Rafael, Evans; Possebon, Anderson, Fletcher, Nani, Ronaldo, Gibson, Giggs, Carrick, Park; Tevez, Berbatov, Rooney.