Wolfsburg v Man Utd preview
United only need a point to top Group B
Last Updated: December 8, 2009 2:56pm
Evra: Only recognised defender
Manchester United go into their UEFA Champions League game against Wolfsburg with a severely depleted squad.
The Red Devils take on the German champions at the Volkswagen Arena with 15 players missing, although they only need a draw to ensure they finish Group B on top of the pile.
Patrice Evra is the only recognised senior defender in the squad as Sir Alex Ferguson's men have been ravaged by injuries.
With Nemanja Vidic, Gary Neville, Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, and Fabio and Rafael Da Silva all sidelined, United's defence will be unrecognisable to the one that has taken the field so far this season.
The long injury list means the Premier League champions have named a number of youngsters in the squad, with club chief executive David Gill's son among a number of emergency players submitted on the list.
Oliver Gill, 19, is joined by fellow rookies Magnus Eikrem, Matthew James, Oliver Norwood and Cameron Stewart, although Ferguson has vowed not to treat Gill with preferential treatment.
Ryan Giggs will be rested for the game, while Owen Hargreaves is still to make his first appearance this season following major knee surgery.
Evra may line up in central defence, away from his orthodox position of left-back, and Ferguson has revealed he is likely to play alongside midfielder Michael Carrick.
Fellow midfielder Darren Fletcher is expected to fill-in at right-back, as the makeshift back-line attempt to quash the threat of Wolfsburg marksman Edin Dzeko.
Dzeko was on the scoresheet when the two sides met in September, United coming out on top 2-1 on that occasion, and the Bosnian has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the future.
With United's usual midfielders dropping down to defence, the likes of Anderson, Park Ji-Sung and Gabriel Obertan could start in their place, as strikers Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov miss out.
Wolfsburg are still not assured of a place in the knockout stages of the competition and are currently level on points with Russian outfit CSKA Moscow.
The Bundesliga champions will have one eye on CSKA's game against Besiktas in Turkey, but will be buoyed by United's long injury list.
Wolfsburg will be without Obafemi Martins who is sidelined until January with a shin problem, while Jonathan Santana (thigh) and Alexander Madlung (calf) will also be absent.
But striker Grafite will return after serving a two-match ban following a red card against Besiktas.
The home side have scored more goals than United in their European campaign so far although they are not in the best run of form - having not won in their last four games.
However, the Red Devils have not lost an away game in the Champions League since they were defeated by AC Milan in 2007, although they lost last year's final on neutral soil to Barcelona.
UEFA Champions League
Tue 8th Dec - Group B
Besiktas1 - 2CSKA Mosc
Wolfsburg1 - 3Man Utd
Tue 8th Dec - Group C
Marseille1 - 3R Madrid
FC Zurich1 - 1AC Milan
Tue 8th Dec - Group D
A Madrid0 - 3FC Porto
Chelsea2 - 2Apoel Nicosia
Tue 8th Dec - Group A
Maccabi Haifa0 - 1Bordeaux
Juventus1 - 4Bay Munich
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H