CFR Cluj vs. Manchester United: Robin Van Persie and Red Devils Who Must Shine

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  J Robin van Persie of Manchester United shakes hands with former Arsnela team mate Emmanuel Eboue of Galatasaray during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Manchester United and Galatasaray at Old Trafford on September 19, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United didn't play at a particularly high level in their first Champions League group stage match of the season against Galatasaray, but they were able to earn a 1-0 victory in front of their home fans at Old Trafford.

For the Red Devils to earn an important victory against CFR Cluj, they need to get off to a better start then they did versus Galatasaray.

Let's look at three players who United manager Sir Alex Ferguson needs a strong performance from on Tuesday.


Robin van Persie

The new United striker has impressed since arriving to Old Trafford from Arsenal, and leads the club with five Premier League goals.

As an experienced Champions League performer, the Dutch striker needs to shine for United because scoring goals away from home in European play is no easy task. An early goal from van Persie would be a tremendous boost to United.

Even with Wayne Rooney fit after suffering a leg injury a few weeks back, Ferguson must start the Dutchman in this match.

However, expect Rooney and van Persie to play much of this match together in the United attack because they still need to build chemistry between them in the final third. It's gotten better over the last few games, but if these two stars can get on the same page, they will become the most feared attacking duo in Europe.

The Cluj defense does not have much experience against forwards of van Persie's quality, so there's a chance that the Dutch star could score a hat trick for United in Tuesday's match. He will have plenty of scoring chances thanks to the playmaking ability of Anderson, Rooney, Tom Cleverley and Nani.



The Portuguese winger shined against Tottenham on Saturday by scoring a goal and creating several other chances, despite United losing the match 3-2.

Ferguson needs Nani to be difficult to defend on the wings, and use his pace and dribbling skills to send balls into the penalty area where forwards such as Rooney and van Persie can score goals.

Nani gives the team some needed width and is an effective playmaker on the counter-attack, so he will be an important player in Tuesday's match against CFR Cluj.

He deserves a spot in the starting lineup, but Nani could be a very effective sub for Ferguson if he needs some more energy on the pitch to get a late equalizer, or a match winner.


Rio Ferdinand

The veteran center-back needs to organize the United back line because there were some breakdowns and miscommunication that cost the club a few goals in the Tottenham defeat over the weekend.

Ferdinand is an experienced defender who needs a strong game on defense, and as a target on set pieces in the final third.

His performance is crucial to a United back four that must play well for the team to take all three points away from home.

Ferdinand will likely be paired with Jonny Evans, and this center-back partnership needs to be in sync because if they are caught out of position, Cluj have the talent to hurt United on the counter attack.