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United seek knockout blow against Rangers

Rangers FC may well need victory to stay in contention in UEFA Champions League Group C but Sir Alex Ferguson, returning to his home city, and Manchester United FC will have other ideas.

United seek knockout blow against Rangers
United seek knockout blow against Rangers ©UEFA.com

Sir Alex Ferguson returns to his home city of Glasgow with Manchester United FC hoping to see them advance to the knockout rounds at the expense of his old club Rangers FC.

• United's Matchday 4 win at Bursaspor has left them on the verge of qualification from Group C but Rangers will have other ideas as they look to bounce back from their defeat at Valencia CF on the same night. The Scottish titleholders' first loss of the season cost them a place in the top two as they slipped down to third.

• If Valencia defeat Bursaspor at home in the other Matchday 5 fixture, Rangers have to beat United to stay in contention.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met for the first time in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage with Alex McLeish then in charge of Rangers. United prevailed 1-0 at Ibrox through a fifth-minute Phil Neville goal, then won 3-0 at Old Trafford.

• The full lineups for that Ibrox encounter on 22 October 2003 were:
Rangers: Klos, Khizanishvili (Ross 85), Berg, Moore, Ball, Ricksen, Arteta, Vanoli (Nerlinger 67), Løvenkrands, Arveladze, Mols.
Manchester United: Howard, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea, Phil Neville (Butt 85), Keane, Scholes, Fortune (Djemba-Djemba 90), Van Nistelrooy, Giggs.

• Allan MacGregor was an unused substitute for both matches and is the only survivor from that Rangers squad.

Match background
• Rangers earned a point at Old Trafford on Matchday 1 but may find home advantage counts for little against a United side with eight wins from their last nine away games in the UEFA Champions League. Their only blip in this sequence came with a 2-1 loss at FC Bayern München in last season's quarter-final.

• Rangers' home record against visitors from England is two wins and two defeats. Their most recent victory came against Leeds United AFC in the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round en route to booking a place in the competition's inaugural group stage. Ally McCoist, who scored the winning goal, is now Walter Smith's assistant manager.

• Prior to that Rangers beat Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 2-0 in the 1960/61 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final but lost 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur FC in the second round of the same competition in 1962/63.

• United's most recent visit to Glasgow brought a 1-1 draw at Celtic FC in the 2008/09 group stage, Ryan Giggs earning a point with an 84th-minute equaliser. United had previously lost at Celtic in the 2006/07 group stage, succumbing 1-0 on 21 November 2006.

• The English club's only other visit north of the border brought a 3-2 win at Dundee United FC in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup third round – securing a 5-4 aggregate success.

Team ties
• Sir Alex was a boyhood Rangers fan who later played for the club, scoring 35 goals in 66 appearances in all competitions between 1967 and 1969.

• Rangers manager Smith was Ferguson's assistant when he led Scotland at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and also served as his No2 at Old Trafford in 2004.

• As Aberdeen FC manager, Ferguson lost the first major final of his career against Rangers in the 1978/79 Scottish League Cup. He gained revenge with Scottish Cup final wins against his old club in 1981/82 and 1982/83.

• As manager of Everton between 1998 and 2002, Smith recorded seven defeats and a draw in eight league meetings with United. Wayne Rooney came through the youth ranks at Everton during Smith's reign but the striker's debut in 2002 came five months after the manager's departure.

• As Scotland captain, United midfielder Darren Fletcher joined seven Rangers players in the squad for UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers in October.

• Rangers midfielder Steven Davis is a Northern Ireland team-mate of Jonny Evans.

• Kenny Miller was a substitute for Celtic in both encounters with United in 2006/07.

• Madjid Bougherra faced Rooney in Algeria's goalless draw with England at the World Cup in June.

• Vladimír Weiss is on loan at Rangers from Manchester City FC.

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