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Sir Alex Ferguson has urged his Manchester United FC players to avoid the complacency that brought about their downfall last term as they begin their UEFA Champions League campaign against Galatasaray AŞ in Group H. While the Turkish side have made an excellent start to the season, winning three of their four domestic matches, coach Fatih Terim believes his charges will have to raise their game if they are to stand any chance of getting a result at Old Trafford.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson
I made the point after the draw that we don't want to be as careless as last season, and the team I choose will reflect that. Over the past few years the group stage has been fairly straightforward, giving us the opportunity to blood young players, but I'll play a lot of experienced players tomorrow.
We all agree we were careless in two group games last season. Firstly against Benfica when we led 2-1 and ended up drawing 2-2, even though we played well that game. Then the Basel game was when we got the most criticism, and deservedly so. We were two goals up and ended up drawing 3-3, which ended up putting us out as we then had to go over there and get a result.
Our home form over the years has been very good so hopefully we can get that back.
We've watched video analysis of [Galatasaray], and there are several areas to watch out for. We know all about [Johan] Elmander and Milan Baroš, of course, and they've two very good central midfielders including Felipe Melo, while Umut Bulut is a very good centre-forward. We know that playing Turkish teams is never easy, so it will be a close game.
If we can keep the defenders fit, as we've had a rough ride with that over the last two or three years, then we definitely have a chance [of winning the competition]. We're very strong, particularly in attacking areas, and that can make the difference for us.
Saturday: United 4-0 Wigan Athletic FC (Scholes 51, Hernández 63, Büttner 66, Powell 82)
Lindegaard; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidić (Evans 77), Büttner; Giggs (Powell 71), Carrick, Nani, Scholes (Van Persie 71), Hernández, Welbeck.
• Paul Scholes marked his 700th United appearance with the opening goal after Hernández had an early penalty saved.
• It was also a day to remember for Rio Ferdinand, making his 400th appearance in a United shirt, and Ryan Giggs, who played in his 600th Premier League game. New signing Alexander Büttner scored on his United debut.
Sir Alex refused to reveal whether it will be Anders Lindegaard or David de Gea who will start behind a defence shorn of Phil Jones (knee) and Chris Smalling (broken foot). This fixture comes too soon for Wayne Rooney (lacerated leg) and Ashley Young (knee), but Patrice Evra is available after a minor knock ruled him out on Saturday.
Coach Fatih Terim
The eyes of the Turkish people are on this game, which is normal, because we're the only Turkish team in the Champions League and it's against Manchester United, one of the world's most popular clubs.
Galatasaray have not played in the Champions League for a long time, so it might have been better had our first game been against Cluj or Braga in order to gain some experience before facing United. On the other hand, it might be good to tackle such an important game first.
Tomorrow we'll play one of the world's best teams. We have to accept it won't be easy because they're at home, with the fans behind them. The main thing I've told my players is that if we perform like we have up to now in the Turkish league it won't be good enough. We'll need to fight harder, give even more of ourselves, but we are capable of beating them.
Saturday: Antalyaspor 0-4 Galatasaray (Elmander 10, Amrabat 45, Burak 55, Umut 90)
Muslera; Eboué, Semih, Cris, Hakan Balta (Çağlar 73); Aydın (Yekta 68), Selçuk İnan, Felipe Melo, Amrabat; Umut, Elmander (Burak 48).
• Cris enjoyed his debut as Galatasaray maintained their one-point lead at the top of Turkish Super League.
• Antalyaspor were the only side that Galatasaray failed to beat last season when they were crowned champions, drawing home and away.
• Umut Bulut has scored five league goals and sits top of the scoring charts.
Hakan Balta and Johan Elmander came off with slight knocks on Saturday but should be fit to face United. Hamit Altıntop was a late withdrawal from the squad against Antalyaspor because of a high temperature.
Galatasaray are back in the UEFA Champions League after a five-season absence and most recently reached the last 16 in 2001/02.
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