Bursaspor v Manchester United

Last updated : 02 November 2010 By Footymad News

Europe's biggest domestic club competition has had its detractors in recent times. Some critics believe the new qualification rules, instigated by UEFA president Michel Platini to get a wider representation across the continent as a whole, have made the group phase less competitive.

 Even though United started this season's competition with a home draw against Rangers, they could virtually book their knock-out phase berth with two games to spare should results fall their way.

Chelsea and Arsenal are even better placed in their groups and with crowds dropping at some grounds - though not Old Trafford it has to be noted - there has been speculation about a revamp. But Ferguson is not concerned.

While the Scot accepts occasions like Tuesday's against Bursaspor may not live in the memory quite as long as United's recent meetings against giants from Spain, Italy and Germany, he views it as a natural consequence of any top-level competition.

And, compared with the drab fare served up in South Africa this summer, he has no doubt which tournament he would prefer to be involved with.

"Have you seen the last six World Cups? It is better going to the dentist I suppose," he said.

"It is a natural thing. If you look at the great teams in the European Cup now and think of the Premier League, you are not going to get the same crowd for Arsenal playing a lower team in the league, or the same tension and drama as you would Arsenal against Manchester United.

"It is the same in the Champions League. Inter Milan playing one of the smaller teams will not get the same crowd.

"The important thing is the Champions League has proved itself since its inception.

"It is better than the World Cup. It is unbelievable. There are some fantastic games. Yes, you have to get through the group stages before you get to the really exciting stage but it is a fantastic tournament."

Without a point from three games so far, Bursaspor will tackle a United team lacking eight members of Ferguson's first-team squad, including Rio Ferdinand.

While Ferguson has several key players missing, opposite number Ertugrul Saglam has a full squad to choose from. Despite leading the Turkish Super Lig during the defence of their domestic title, Bursaspor have been criticised for their performances this season as they sit bottom of Group C having yet to win a point.

"There's a huge difference in quality between the rest of the group and our squad," Saglam admitted.

"Here in Turkey we became successful in a very short period of time and all of a sudden we found ourselves competing in the Champions League.

"It is difficult to challenge the opponents we have."

He added: "We made a poor start with Valencia, but after a good fight in Glasgow, we played a good game and were a bit unfortunate not to get a goal.

"Then at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 people, it is difficult for every team." 




Source: DSG

Source: DSG