Dimitar Berbatov is desperate to find his scoring touch to justify his big money summer transfer from Spurs to Manchester United.
And the 27-year-old Bulgarian hopes to do it today in the Champions League game at Aalborg. This will be Berbatov’s fifth match for Man Utd and pressure is mounting for him to justify his $60 million fee.
Gary Neville was not injured during United’s match with Bolton on Saturday at Old Trafford, yet he has been left out from the squad travelling to Denmark to take on Aalborg for the second round of the Group E qualifiers.
He will be replaced by Wes Brown and apart from Owen Hargreaves who has a knee injury, Sir Alex Ferguson is not likely to have any other problems with his team selection.
At least Ferguson has Cristiano Ronaldo, Berbatov, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney available.
Danish champions Aalborg, coached by former Arsenal boss Bruce Rioch, managed to scrape a point in Scotland in their previous encounter with a British team – Celtic.
United’s next game is against Celtic, in the long anticipated Battle of Britain.
United landed in Copenhagen yesterday and were looking forward to their first victory in their European campaign this season.
Group E is promising to be one of the most interesting groups with everything remaining on equal terms: United and Villarreal and Celtic and Aalborg all drew in their clashes, and every team has one point.
Underdogs Aalborg do not have anyone of note in their team, but Darren Fletcher says United will not take them for granted. He said: ‘Aalborg may not to be a familiar name, but there are no mugs in the Champions League.
‘They’ll still be a top side. A lot of people have already discounted them, but the fact that the pressure is off might help them. It’s a game that we’ll have to be on top form for if we’re to get the three points.
‘The 0-0 draw between Aalborg and Celtic was good for us, especially considering Celtic’s excellent home record. Aalborg will take great confidence from that, but it’s important we win in Denmark and get things going.’
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger is going to have to make some considerable changes with his team before they take on Porto for their Champions League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Having just lost 2-1 at home to Hull City – arguably the worst team to ever reach the Premiership – Arsenal will not go into the game with the best of morale.
Wenger enters his 13th year as Arsenal manager this week. He rejected suggestions that the convincing wins at Blackburn and Bolton had made his team complacent and that they took Hull City for granted.
Instead, the Frenchman has attributed the defeat to the size of his defenders in contrast to the towering players from the north-east of England.
‘We gave them too much room for the first goal and we didn’t clear the ball on the second one,’ said the 58-year-old.
‘I believe that we have more a size problem in our defending than a quality problem. It’s not just the centre-backs who defend – as a team we are a bit short.
Wenger added: ‘Perhaps on a subconscious level we were thinking we would do it. I don’t fault the players for not wanting it but it can happen when you have just won two away games.
‘Where we are guilty is that we had difficulties in the first half but then still went 1-0 up and we shouldn’t have given it away from that.’
The Gunners do not have serious injury problems prior to the clash with Porto however Wenger has suggested a reshuffle of the squad, so the team’s line up is anyone’s guess.
The remaining Champions League fixtures today are: Villarreal v Celtic, Fiorentina v Steaua, Bayern v Lyon, Fenerbahce v Dynamo Kiev, Zenit v Real Madrid and BATE v Juventus