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CFR seek a little Manchester miracle

CFR 1907 Cluj could leapfrog Galatasaray AŞ into second place in Group H if they win at Manchester United FC and the section's other fixture in Braga goes their way.

Rui Pedro's hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Braga has kept CFR's hopes alive
Rui Pedro's hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Braga has kept CFR's hopes alive ©AFP/Getty Images

CFR 1907 Cluj make their first visit to Manchester United FC with hopes still alive of reaching the UEFA Champions League's last 16 for the first time.

• CFR's 3-1 home victory against SC Braga last time out kept them level on seven points with Galatasaray AŞ although, with an inferior head-to-head record, they must achieve a better result at Old Trafford than the Turkish team manage in Braga if they are to leapfrog them into second place.

• Whatever the outcome CFR are guaranteed at least third place and UEFA Europa League qualification – meaning that for the first time they will be competing in Europe after Christmas.

Match background
• Group H winners United have won both home fixtures to date but CFR are unbeaten on their UEFA Champions League travels this term. They earned victories at FC Slovan Liberec and FC Basel 1893 in qualifying and then won 2-0 at Braga and drew 1-1 at Galatasaray.

• United have won all five previous encounters with Romanian opposition including their 2-1 comeback success in Cluj-Napoca on 2 October against a CFR side then under the tutelage of Ioan Andone.

• United posted 2-0 victories both home and away against FC Oţelul Galaţi in last season's group stage. Wayne Rooney scored two penalties in the away fixture – where Nemanja Vidić was sent off – while Antonio Valencia struck at Old Trafford with Cristian Sârghi adding an own goal.

• In a 2004/05 third qualifying round tie, United overcame an FC Dinamo Bucureşti side led by CFR's former coach Andone. Ryan Giggs scored and Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes also played in United's 2-1 first-leg win in Bucharest while Fletcher also featured in United's 3-0 second-leg success.

• Cadú is the only survivor of CFR's one previous trip to England, a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea FC in the 2008/09 group stage on 9 December 2008. CFR had held the London club 0-0 at home.

Team ties
• Sir Alex oversaw Aberdeen FC's 5-2 aggregate win against the club now called FC Argeş Piteşti in the 1981/82 UEFA Cup second round.

• Paulo Sérgio was in charge of the Heart of Midlothian FC team that earned a 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs. However, his Hearts side had already lost their home leg 5-0.

• In May 2006 Nani made his Portugal Under-21 debut against France in the same team as Diogo Valente. Nani was in Sporting Clube de Portugal's youth ranks when Mário Felgueiras was the club's third-choice goalkeeper.

• Scorer of both United goals at CFR, Robin van Persie found the net again in the Netherlands' 4-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying win in Romania later in October. He had hit the second goal in a 2-0 Dutch victory that ended Romania's hopes of progress at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Chris Smalling scored an 83rd-minute winner in England's 2-1 victory against Romania in a UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off in Norwich in October 2010. Ioan Hora, who is at CFR but not in the UEFA Champions League squad, scored Romania's goal against an England team also including Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck.

• Patrice Evra faced Gabriel Mureşan in France's 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Romania in Constanta in October 2008, and lined up against Vasile Maftei in the 1-1 return draw in Paris.

• In the same South Africa 2010 qualifying group, Vidić was in the Serbia team that dismantled Maftei's Romania 5-0 in Belgrade to secure their finals berth. He also played in Serbia's 3-2 victory in Constanta.

• Giggs was in the Wales team denied a 1994 World Cup finals place by a 2-1 home defeat by Romania in Cardiff in November 1993. He was on the receiving end of a 5-1 loss in Bucharest in the same campaign.

• Scholes was a member of the England side eliminated from UEFA EURO 2000 after a 3-2 reverse against Romania in their final group game. He also lost 2-1 to Romania with England at the 1998 World Cup.

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