UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

United and Celtic resume cross-border rivalry

The champions of England and Scotland meet at Old Trafford with Manchester United FC's home form, and Celtic FC's well-documented problems on the road, pointing to a difficult night for the visitors.

Wayne Rooney was on target for United against AaB
Wayne Rooney was on target for United against AaB ©Getty Images

The champions of England and Scotland meet on Matchday 3 in a cross-border contest that neutrals will hope provides as much drama as their last UEFA Champions League encounters.

• When Manchester United FC and Celtic FC faced off in the 2006/07 group stage, each side recorded a victory – United winning 3-2 at Old Trafford, Celtic 1-0 in Glasgow – and recent history makes Sir Alex Ferguson's men the favourites to prevail once again on home turf.

• Although United were held 0-0 by Villarreal CF in their opening Group E fixture, they have gone 16 matches undefeated at home in the competition, while Celtic have not won a single one of their 18 away games in the UEFA Champions League in its modern guise.

• Celtic maintained their unhappy sequence of results on the road in suffering their ninth successive away defeat in the competition when going down 1-0 at Villarreal on Matchday 2 thanks to Marcos Senna's 67th-minute free-kick.

• Add the points dropped in their earlier home stalemate with Aalborg BK and Gordon Strachan's side arrive in Manchester knowing another loss would leave them with a small mountain to climb to qualify from the section.

• United, by contrast, sit top of the group with four points after winning 3-0 at AaB last time out, Wayne Rooney (22) and Dimitar Berbatov (55, 79) the scorers. Should they defeat Celtic, they would be strongly placed to progress.

• It was Matchday 1 of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League when the clubs met for the first time in European competition – and conspired to produce a five-goal thriller. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (21) opened the scoring at Old Trafford for Celtic, United responded with two goals from Louis Saha (30, 40), the first from the penalty spot, and then Shunsuke Nakamura (43) made it 2-2 with a fine free-kick. The scoring ended two minutes into the second period when Ole Gunnar Solskjær found the net to secure all three points for the home side.

• The lineups for that match on 13 September 2006 were:
Man United: Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown, Mikaël Silvestre, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes (John O'Shea), Ryan Giggs (Ole Gunnar Solskjær), Wayne Rooney (Kieran Richardson), Louis Saha.
Celtic: Artur Boruc, Mark Wilson (Paul Telfer), Gary Caldwell, Stephen McManus, Lee Naylor, Neil Lennon, Shunsuke Nakamura, Thomas Gravesen, Aiden McGeady (Shaun Maloney), Jiří Jarošík (Kenny Miller), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

• Celtic avenged that defeat, and secured their progress from the group stage for the first time, by beating United in Glasgow on 21 November that year. The heroes were Nakamura, scorer of the only goal with an 81st-minute free-kick, and Artur Boruc, who saved a late Saha spot-kick.

• The lineups that evening were:
Celtic: Artur Boruc, Paul Telfer, Dianbobo Balde, Stephen McManus, Lee Naylor, Thomas Gravesen, Neil Lennon, Evander Sno (Jiří Jarošík), Shunsuke Nakamura (Kenny Miller), Maciej Żurawski (Shaun Maloney), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Man United: Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidić, Gabriel Heinze (Patrice Evra), Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Carrick (John O'Shea), Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha.

• United have met Scottish opposition only three times before at Old Trafford. Besides their aforementioned 2006 victory against Celtic, they beat Rangers FC 3-0 in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage and drew 2-2 with Dundee United FC in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup third round.

• Celtic's record from previous visits south of the border is W3 D2 L2 – with their most recent successes coming at Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC, both 2-0 wins on their run to the 2002/03 UEFA Cup final.

• Sir Alex had mixed fortunes in Anglo-Scottish contests when managing in Scotland with Aberdeen FC. His Aberdeen side lost 5-0 on aggregate to Liverpool in the 1980/81 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round. However, the next season they eliminated holders Ipswich Town FC in the UEFA Cup first round with a 4-2 aggregate win.

• Celtic manager Strachan, who was a scorer in that UEFA Cup win against Ipswich, played under Sir Alex at Aberdeen and Manchester United and also with Scotland's 1986 FIFA World Cup team.

• Strachan has enjoyed no previous success when returning to Old Trafford as a manager. During spells in charge of Coventry City FC and Southampton FC he made eight visits for Premier League matches – and suffered eight defeats at a cost of 26 goals conceded.

• Celtic's Greek forward Georgios Samaras appeared in one Manchester derby during his two-year stay with United's neighbours Manchester City FC, a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford in December 2006.

• The most recent Scottish visitors to Manchester were Celtic's great rivals Rangers, who contested last May's UEFA Cup final at the City of Manchester stadium, going down 2-0 against FC Zenit St. Petersburg.

• Villarreal will play host to AaB in the other Group E fixture on Matchday 3.