Not on the Wayne
Phil Thompson reckons Manchester United and Rangers can get positive results on Wednesday.
Last Updated: 19/10/10 7:14pm
Manchester United still have plenty of work to do to get out of their group.
Sir Alex Ferguson made a lot of changes for their opening game against Rangers and they came unstuck. I don't want to tell an experienced manager like Sir Alex Ferguson how to do things, but perhaps he should have got the game over and done with and then brought the star players off to rest them.
They weren't brilliant in Valencia, but they won the game with a late goal - as is so often the way with Manchester United. Valencia might feel they should have won that game and at the end of this qualifying campaign, that Javier Hernandez goal might prove to be extremely important.
Sir Alex will want nothing less than three points at home to Bursaspor; this is the game they'll have looked at as a home banker when the draw was made. Some people would have said the Rangers game was a gimme, but the 'Battle of Britain' aspect always produces a potential banana skin.
The Bursaspor game is a must-win and I think they will, even though they haven't played well this season.
For me, United have not found enough consistency and I think Sir Alex is still searching for his best starting XI. Hardly anybody in the squad can be convinced of their place on the team sheet.
That includes Wayne Rooney, who has been hitting the headlines again this week. The papers are saying he isn't going to sign a new contract and there will be a lot of speculation going into the game.
Ferguson left him out against West Brom at the weekend and, dare I say it, Sir Alex probably made the right call. Rooney's form has not been good and after an international match in midweek I could understand the decision to leave him out.
But I think they'll bring him back into the side for Bursaspor at home and he should get enough chances to score a couple of goals and boost his confidence.
I'd tip him for a goal in a Manchester United win.
THOMMO'S VERDICT - Manchester United haven't been at their best this season, but they should be able to put Bursaspor to bed at Old Trafford. I think they will win 3-0.
Rangers v Valencia
Rangers are always capable of doing something out of the ordinary in Europe, but they need to start doing it consistently.
They got a good draw at Old Trafford in their first game and followed it up with a fine 1-0 win against Bursaspor. Now they have to get a result against a very good Valencia side.
I think Walter Smith will not see this as a must-win game, but he'll see it as a game that they must not lose. If Rangers can get a draw in this game, it will set them up with a magnificent chance of getting out of the group in the final three games.
I would expect Smith to play with one up front again and try to contain a side that have started the Spanish season very well. Valencia showed against Manchester United how effective they can be and they will be extremely disappointed to have lost that game.
They have been in good form in La Liga this season and were beating Barcelona at half-time last weekend. They eventually lost 2-1, but there is no shame in that.
They may have lost David Villa and David Silva in the summer, but they club has pulled together and they have led the league in Spain for several weeks. They could easily have slid into mediocrity, but have become a force to be reckoned with.
Rangers are the home team, but they must keep their team shape and respect their opponents' superiority in possession. Valencia like to hit teams on the counter-attack and I think Rangers will be happy to let them have the ball.
David Weir will gather people around him at the back and Rangers will look to score on the break or from set pieces.
THOMMO'S VERDICT - As long as they don't play a 4-6-0 formation, I think Rangers will have a chance of scoring and taking a result from this game. I'm going to go for a 1-1 draw.