Bursaspor vs Manchester United: Match Preview

We are nearing the business end of the Champions League and the fourth round of the group stage upon us with Manchester United facing a tricky trip to Turkey to face Turkish champions and current league leaders Bursaspor.

Currently in Group C the Turks have zero points, have conceded six goals and scored none, the only side in the Champions League not to have found the back of the net. So you would think United should take three points from the game easily enough, but even in the home match against them, United made hard work of Ertugrul Saglam’s side, coming away with only a one-nil win.

Sir Alex Ferguson is wary of Bursaspor, stating, “You have to respect any team that’s top of their league. Bursaspor have been playing well in the league and are in good form,” he told reporters at his pre-match press conference. ?

“We know the Turkish league is very difficult – we’ve experienced that before against Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenebahce – they’ve all been difficult games for us here and we expect another test on Tuesday.” He added.

One major absentee is Rio Ferdinand who did not travel to Turkey, and amid reports this was due to the impact the trip may have on his back, the defender replied to these reports in Twitter; “Reports that I’m not traveling to Turkey coz it will affect my back are once again wrong.”

Other absentees are Jonny Evans, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Federico Macheda, Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Anderson. So a changed line up is expected from Sir Alex.

Chris Smalling will be given a starting spot next to Nemanja Vidic, while Wes Brown is expected to make only his fourth start of the season. Whether or not United go for a five-man midfield remains to be seen, though this seems to be a favoured approach away from home in Europe.

Despite the weakened squad Michael Carrick feels United can step up when it matters in the Champions League, “People might point to our away record, which is very good, but all those matches have been hard. Travelling to Turkey, for instance, presents you with a long journey and a different type of atmosphere. You are encountering players that you don’t see every week.

“It brings a different challenge to Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. It is something you have to face if you want to continue in the competition.”

Despite their terrible record in the Champions League, Bursaspor boast a 10 game unbeaten run in Turkey, while Milan Stepanov and Ali Tando?an who both returned to face Fenerbahçe at the weekend, having been out with injuries picked up at Old Trafford, should both be in the line-up to face United after Tando?an played 90 minutes on Friday, while Stepanov was an unused substitute.

If United get the victory it will more or less guarantee qualification to the next stage of the competition, lets just hope the Turkish champions do not suddenly translate their home form onto the European stage.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Probable Line Up: van der Sar; Brown, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Park; Hernandez, Berbatov.



  1. Not quite sure if i’ll be up for this one. I feel fergie has no real pressure to win so the game will probably be a dour affair ending in a draw.

  2. 1-1? I would be a bit more confident after the weekend. Hopefully, we are starting to get into some form of consistency.

    That said, I wouldn’t be totally gobsmacked if we lost!

  3. @Spizzy: I am looking forward to see Smallings, Chicharito, Macheda, Obertan, and maybe Bebe…. that alone is enough to make me watch it.

  4. @PissedOffRed: Where do you really think he was after half-time. Coleen probably thought he was watching the game at OT, but, in fact, he was shagging a prosty in some swanky hotel.

    Surely, Mr. Ambition had to celebrate his new contract with the prosties of Manchester too…

  5. @Owen: I’d be really happy if we signed Sanchez. He showed a lot of ability at the World Cup, and the kid is apparently a massive United fan. I can see him being given the number 7 at the end of the season when Owen goes. Him on one wing Nani on the other would be dynamite.

  6. @PissedOffRed: I don’t blame him, the game was a bore. United are a bore and to stomach their half speed attack is similar to loving the smell and taste of scouse. As for me, I don’t think so.

  7. Fergie might be tempted to field a weakened squad then bring on the big guns if things are not working. Hope this time it won’t backfire. They might be bottom of the group but I would not underestimate them at their own backyard.

    My prediction for this match will be Busarspor ? – United 2

    Madschester United LOOOOOL! 😀

  8. Why are all of us so obsessed about who we are going to sign next? Have we learned nothing these past few years? How many times must the Boss come out to the media and state that there will be no signings in this upcoming transfer window before all of you thickies wake up to the fact that this club will only buy no name obscure bargain basement players who are nobody’s radar? Honestly, how sick I am of all the NewsNow links being brought up here. Sneijder, Sanchez, Dufour, Schweinsteiger, Neuer, Dzeko, etc etc etc. When do all of you finally clue in to the reality of the situation, or are all of you as thick as Wayne Rooney and as gullible to believe the Glazer’s are going to miraculously find 50 million to spend on quality players to appease their spoilt little scouser? It isn’t happening people. In fact I will predict the sale of Wayne Rooney come this summer for 60 to 70 million and that money going to the coffers of the owners while United continue to progress towards mediocrity and ultimately, doom. Sorry but I have lost all faith and belief that this club will do anything under the current regime to appease fans and to try to credibly improve the club’s on field prospects. So many wonder why I am more and more silent on this blog? Because I am sick and tired about Rooney, Fergie, Glazer and the hundred players who are linked with us. BORING.

  9. @Grognard: #1 he is still apart of the team right? So he should be around supporting his teammates, not hiding in the locker room because he couldnt take the abuse.

    #2 he is also being paid 200k a week, for that amount of money I would sit through anything.

    I understand you or any other person shutting the game of because your time is more valuable. He unfortunately in my eyes doesnt have that luxury, if anything he needs to be on his P’s and Q’s in order for the fans to eventually forgive him. But he will prolly just sulk and complain about the fans getting on his back.

  10. @Nelson: To be honest, if Nani works as well as he has this season on the left, then the spot there is his! I love Valencia, but chances are he won’t come back as good as before. We all hope he does, but we have to be realistic about the chances of that.

  11. @PissedOffRed: I heard that he was abused so much in the first half he couldn’t bare sitting there for another 45 minutes of the same. Fergie protected him against Everton fans, I don’t see how he will do the same against his own fans. Come to think of it, he hasn’t made a proper apology to the fans. Whether he deserves to do it, that will be a debate for another day

  12. @Grognard:

    When do all of you finally clue in to the reality of the situation, or are all of you as thick as Wayne Rooney and as gullible to believe the Glazer’s are going to miraculously find 50 million to spend on quality players to appease their spoilt little scouser?

    to be fair we are all fans of the club and want to deep down believe the positives even when they arent there. So we are all guilty of being gullible at one time or another.

  13. Unless Fergie sacks Phelan and appoint him as his New Assistant,my best friend Grognard is not going to be happy. 😯

  14. @Traverse: He will certainly loose some of his pace but I believe his crossing would still be there. I just hope that he doesn’t develop a mental block when he comes back i.e. He won’t hold himself back from making a darting run on the flank for fear of breaking his leg again

    That reminds me, How is Hargo fairing now?

  15. @Traverse: I agree we have to be honest with ourselves about Valencia. These types of breaks tend to be career enders. Im sure he will come back and play professionally but not at the heights he onces was. I can think off the top of my head Smudger, Cisse, Eduardo to name a few suffered these horror breaks and never really came fully back. Its not only the physical part but mentally I think is the biggesst stumbling block. once you lose that self delusion of invincibility its gone forever. Now every 50-50 ball you think twice before going into it, when an defender challenges you, you jump asap to avoid the challenge instead of trying to beat him. You start thinking about everything instead of relying on your instincts. and at this level your mind is simply to slow to think your way thru every split second decision and you have to rely on your natural instincts that you have honed over your career.

    Im as big of Valencia fan around, but I fear the worst for his injury.

  16. Bursaspor are a shit team, full of shit, garbage, talentless players. They have a small pussy striker who can run, but he can’t do much else. That is about it when you analyse Bursaspor. They WILL play for a draw, because they couldn’t give a flying fuck about their future in the Champions League. They just enjoy getting the group stage money, so that they can purchase some exciting, new garbage players for their team in the summer.

    The Turkish League is having their worst stint at the moment, with Fenerbahce who beat Chelsea in the quarter finals of the Champions League in terrible form, and Galatasaray who have had to call on their legend Hagi to pull them out of a fucking nightmare run of form that’s lasted 5 years. Bursaspor are the Turkish Champions, because Fenerbahce drew their last game of the season, they are so hilariously shit.

    I am a Fenerbahce fan, they are my local team, and I might be biased against them. But I do know that tonight will serve us up with shite football at it’s emphatic worst, with our fringe players and Bursaspor throwing blind, pathetic punches at each other like two drunkards having a fight, and the full time whistle is when they both lose consciousness and go to sleep. Expectations lowered? Check 🙂

  17. Craig MC won’t like this. I wonder why this fucker is bitching and we weren’t playing against his team.

  18. @Nelson: Its time to cut our losses with Hargo. His transfer fee was justified in my eyes because he was instrumental in us winning the CL, but his salalry over the past 2 years has not been justified. We have been more than fair with him, at this point its best for both parties to shake hands and part ways.

  19. @Nelson: He’s back in rehab… forget about him. If he comes back – great – but don’t expect him back again.

    Saha, Owen, Mickey Owen are eternally damned with injuries… it is quite sad because they are all outstanding footballers at their best.

  20. @johnsom33: @Madschester United: Well I hope Fergie gets a replacement sooner. It is no surprise that in some of the games that we play, the central midfield looks like being overrun by a group or rugby players. And no Fletcher is not a DM. I feel as if he is being wasted there by Fergie. Carrick does hold the ball well but against strong midfields he wont be good enough. We need that no nonsense enforcing midfielders. Any suggestions?

  21. I think Fergie will field this team today.

    Rafael Brown Smalling Oshea
    Carrick Scholes Gibson
    Bebe Chicho Obertan

  22. @Nelson: everybody but Fergie knows we are in need of a complete midfield overhaul. as for who? we could name names but that requires money…

  23. @Owen:
    With oshea, there will be zero attacking thrust on the left. I’d rather see Fabio even though he is shaky. Here’s to hoping that Gibson can do more than shoot. Memories of west brom still very fresh in my mind. Did zilch in that game in my opinion

  24. @johnsom33: Sooner or Later, he will wake up from the slumber. It can’t go on forever. Right now he can get away by saying that we have enough midfielders but once Scholesy hangs his boots, it will be a different matter. Anderson will not be his replacement and Gibson for me is still good at one thing only. While I always try to get news of how the youth team is doing, Being a foreigner with no MUTV access, it is difficult for me to judge the likes of Pogba and Ekirem. Even with my lack of knowledge, I can safely assume they aren’t ready yet. Dont forget, Mr ‘Ambition’ needs to see some spending or he will be off 😛

    I wont be able to reply since i have to get back home which is thirty minutes away from my current position but hopefully when i get there, i will be able to comment through my clunky mobile phone. Adios

  25. @Owen: overrated..couldn’t cut in Arsenal or Portsmouth and is gonna come here and save our asses…might work in a unphysical league like la liga but the guy just doesn’t cut it…

  26. @Nelson: haters gonna hate… i love that pic of nani 😛 . he is a winner and anyone who says that the goal was unsporting is a looser. 🙄

  27. @johnsom33: no but he can do a job for us and is happy to stay on the bench till he is needed. he also can run full speed(his full speed) all match long. he is a valuable asset to the team but i would love to see a sanchez come in he plays as a striker for my fifa team.

  28. @RMJ: How can you say he was a flop at Pompey.Real Madrid got him for 20 millions from Pompey and you are saying he was a flop there!!!!

  29. Vds
    Rafael, Smallings, Vida, Evra
    Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Obertan

    Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Fabio, O’Shea, Bebe, Park, Chicha

  30. @Owen: Nope. They are showing it on delay I guess. They are showing Spurs Vs Inter. And Ten Action are showing Barca match!

  31. @AndyCR7:

    I expct us to be 4-3-3 more often than 4-5-1 with that line up. Good to see Obertan’s good work in the Carling Cup getting him a place in the team. I’d rather he play than Giggs or Park. What will we learn from either of them playing? Nothing. We get a chance to see if Obertan has what it takes to do it in a game that counts in a hostile environment.

    Here’s hoping. I think he’s been more than worth the £3mil so far!

  32. @Traverse: Yep I was impressed with his overall play in the Carling cup. I hope he does well today.

    I think we should have rested Evra (and Vidic may be). I hope we finish the game early and Nani and Berba are taken off.

  33. @AndyCR7: If we go two or three up with half an hour to go I expect we’ll see those guys come off for Bebe and Chicharito.

  34. When was the last time United had such a bad quality BENCH?This really worries me.Even Spurs bench looked better than us that day and it never happened before in last 10 years.

  35. What the fuck happened to Nani for Park to be on? I popped out of the control room for two mins to set a band up, and I come back to this shit!!! That’s the last time I do any work.

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