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Munteanu hopes Oţelul rise to the occasion

Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 20.14CET
FC Oţelul Galaţi coach Dorinel Munteanu said it was an honour for his team to be taking on Manchester United FC but believes that the English champions "will not have it easy".
by Paul-Daniel Zaharia
from Bucharest

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Tournament statistics

OţelulMan. United

Goals scored3
 
11
Attempts on target24
 
38
Attempts off target30
 
32
Corners17
 
28
Offsides16
 
21
Fouls committed107
 
63
Yellow cards15
 
8
Red cards2
 
1
 
Published: Monday 17 October 2011, 20.14CET

Munteanu hopes Oţelul rise to the occasion

FC Oţelul Galaţi coach Dorinel Munteanu said it was an honour for his team to be taking on Manchester United FC but believes that the English champions "will not have it easy".

A visit from Manchester United FC may be an "honour" for UEFA Champions League newcomers FC Oţelul Galaţi, but their coach Dorinel Munteanu is hopeful they will make life difficult for the English titleholders who should have Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidić back in their starting XI.

This is a fantastic time for us because Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in Europe. The players should already be motivated; it's a great honour to play them
Dorinel Munteanu, Oţelul coach
These two matches, tomorrow and on Sunday against Manchester City, have to be prepared as professionals and to be won
Sir Alex Ferguson, United manager

Oţelul
Coach Dorinel Munteanu
This is a fantastic time for us because Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in Europe. The players should already be motivated; it's a great honour to play them. I hope my team have understood what I said to them after the match against Benfica. Tomorrow there will be some big players in front of them, but I'm waiting to see a reaction from my players after we lost to Benfica.

Manchester United will not have it easy against us. It's not easy to play against such a team but we're prepared well and I'm confident. I know our opponents don't know a great deal about us, that's quite normal because we won the title for the first time last season, but be sure that Manchester United know everything they need to. Manchester United are the favourites tomorrow, but we'll see.

Weekend result
Friday:
Oţelul Galaţi 1-1 FC Astra Ploieşti (Punoševac 40; Fatai 46)
Grahovac; Râpă, Perendija, Costin, Sălăgeanu; Neagu, Giurgiu, Frunză, Filip (Pena 54); Iorga (Antal 46), Punoševac (Paraschiv 75)

• Oţelul have only two wins from seven home games this season, and have lost five of their last nine competitive fixtures.

Team news
Cornel Râpă and Gabriel Paraschiv returned from injury on Friday.

Manchester United
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Of course, we were a little bit disappointed after the [3-3 home draw on matchday two] against Basel, but we have to recover and to win all three points. This would ease the pressure on us after two draws. These two matches, tomorrow and on Sunday against Manchester City, have to be prepared as professionals and to be won. There are five days between the two matches, so there is plenty of time to recover, and as I said we have to win.

Rio Ferdinand played very well on Saturday against Liverpool but we have Vidić with us here and I felt it was a good opportunity to give Rio a break. Playing three games in seven days is a lot to ask; we felt it was the right moment to give him a rest.

[On Wayne Rooney, a substitute against Liverpool FC following the news of his three-match ban from UEFA EURO 2012] It's not easy to cope with this situation, when he realised that he will miss so many important matches at a major competition. But he is a strong character. When he came on I thought he was bubbly, full of energy and enthusiasm.

Weekend result:
Saturday:
Liverpool FC 1-1 Manchester United (Gerrard 68; Hernández 81)
De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Park (Rooney 69), Fletcher, Jones (Hernández 76), Giggs, Young (Nani 69); Welbeck

• Javier Hernández's late equaliser ensured United ended a run of three successive league defeats at Anfield, though they have now fallen two points behind Manchester City FC, who they meet next Sunday.

Team news
Rio Ferdinand has not travelled but fellow centre-back Nemanja Vidić is back from a calf injury. Rafael is sidelined following shoulder surgery and both Darron Gibson and Tom Cleverley have foot injuries.

Match fact
The last time United failed to win either of their first two games in a UEFA Champions League group stage was in 1998/99 when they ended up lifting the trophy for the first time under Sir Alex. Then as now, they drew their opening two fixtures, including a 3-3 home draw with FC Barcelona – the same scoreline United had against FC Basel 1893 last time out.

Last updated: 27/11/12 16.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007605/prematch/preview/index.html#otelul+united+visit

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