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Wolfsburg face test of strength from United

Second in Group B, VfL Wolfsburg will close their maiden UEFA Champions League group-stage campaign with a visit from a Manchester United FC side unbeaten in away matches in the competition since May 2007.

Wolfsburg face test of strength from United
Wolfsburg face test of strength from United ©UEFA.com

VfL Wolfsburg will be taking on the UEFA Champions League's away-day specialists when they look to secure a last 16 berth at home against Manchester United FC on Matchday 6.

• Sir Alex Ferguson's side have maintained a remarkable run of form on their travels in the competition during the past three seasons, going unbeaten in 14 matches, discounting the 2008 and 2009 finals which were played at neutral venues.

• However, United's 23-match undefeated home run was ended by Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 5, leaving the three-time European champions on ten points, three above their German hosts and PFC CSKA Moskva. United are already through, but a draw in Germany would guarantee them a place in the first knockout round as group winners.

• Wolfsburg, meanwhile, need to match the result CSKA obtain at Beşiktaş to pip the Russian side to one of the top two spots. A 1-0 victory against United would be enough to take the German champions through as group winners provided CSKA fail to win: should the Moscow club also collect three points, United would finish first by virtue of their record against Wolfsburg and CSKA, with the German club joining them in the first knockout round.

Previous meeting
• United had to come from behind to defeat Wolfsburg 2-1 at Old Trafford on Matchday 2, Ryan Giggs (59) and Michael Carrick (78) scoring after Edin Džeko (56) had headed the Bundesliga outfit in front.

Match background
• Wolfsburg have taken four points from their two Group B home games so far, but United could well pose their toughest test yet.

• United last lost as the away team in a UEFA Champions League tie when they succumbed 3-0 at AC Milan in the 2006/07 semi-finals. Since then, they have recorded seven wins and seven draws, including 1-0 successes at Beşiktaş and CSKA this term.

• United have kept nine clean sheets in those 14 outings and conceded just six goals.

• Wolfsburg emerged victorious from their first home encounter with an English team, beating Portsmouth FC 3-2 in the UEFA Cup group stage on 4 December last year, courtesy of efforts from Džeko, Zvjezdan Misimović and Christian Gentner.

• United lost 2-1 at VfB Stuttgart on their last trip to Germany during the 2003/04 group stage. Ruud van Nistelrooy struck the United goal from the penalty spot in a match that featured Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, John O'Shea and Paul Scholes, with Darren Fletcher appearing as an added-time substitute.

• Ferdinand, Giggs, O'Shea, who was replaced by Neville at half-time, were part of the United side that triumphed 2-1 at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage.

Team ties
• Wolfsburg's Armin Veh made an inauspicious coaching debut in European competition when overseeing Stuttgart's away-goals defeat by Middlesbrough FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 32. Veh's men edged the second leg 1-0 in England, but it was not enough after a 2-1 home reverse.

• United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has twice claimed European honours against German clubs – Aberdeen FC defeated Hamburger SV to land the 1983 UEFA Super Cup and United beat FC Bayern München in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final.

• Wolfsburg duo Džeko and Misimović faced United winger Nani in Bosnia-Herzegovina's 2-0 aggregate defeat by Portugal in last month's qualifying play-off for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

• Misimović contested two games alongside United's Owen Hargreaves at Bayern in the 2003/04 Bundesliga season, both of them resulting in wins. Misimović was also in the 1. FC Nürnberg side that lost 2-0 at home to Everton in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Dimitar Berbatov scored both of Bulgaria's goals in a 2-1 friendly success against Misimović's Bosnia-Herzegovina in August 2008.

• Berbatov spent five-and-a-half years in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen, scoring twice in eight league outings against Wolfsburg.

• Wolfsburg striker Obafemi Martins was on target for Newcastle United FC in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on the opening day of the 2008/09 Premier League season.

• Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio was in the Switzerland team beaten 2-1 by England in a Wembley friendly in February 2008. Wes Brown, Ferdinand, Hargreaves and Wayne Rooney all featured for England.

• Wolfsburg's Josué and United midfielder Antonio Valencia were on opposing sides as Brazil drew 1-1 in Ecuador in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Quito on 29 March 2009.