Braga vs. Manchester United: Stars Who Must Power Red Devils to Victory

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIINovember 7, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring to make it 1-1 with Robin van Persie during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on October 20, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

This is the time that both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie need to show their leadership and brilliance on the pitch. 

Manchester United has a chance to secure a spot in the Champions League knockout round, but they will be without several supporting players when they take on Braga at Estadia AXA on Thursday. Per, the Red Devils won't have Shinji Kagawa (knee), Nemanja Vidic (knee), Danny Welbeck (knee) or Phil Jones (knee).

Playing this match shorthanded makes the challenge a little more difficult, but the team has the talent to overcome the Archbishops. Playing in a place where they have had success also helps. Their record in Portugal has been stellar of late—the Red Devils have won four matches in a row in what has become a home away from home for them. 

The Archbishops would love to play spoiler in this match. You can bet their defense will be focused on limiting the impact of Van Persie and Rooney. However, they may have to watch out for the impact of an aging legend.

Old Trafford mainstay Ryan Giggs is 38 years old, but he's still skilled enough to make an impact in this match. He may not be able to maintain the pace he once did, but in stretches Sir Alex Ferguson may look like a genius if Giggs can make a few plays.

Between the Red Devils' current marquee stars, and one of their oldest active legends, they are capable of powering the club to victory.

This is an emotional time for Manchester United.

Sir Alex just celebrated his 26th season as manager of the club. According to the Telegraph, the organization has announced plans to reveal a statue of Ferguson on November 23. It seems the efforts to give him his third Champions League title could be a major motivation for everyone involved.

Ferguson is pushing his club to gear up for a tournament run.

Spearheading victory for the shorthanded club would mean a lot. A win in this match would not only officially begin the march towards a Champions League title, but it would also allow Sir Alex to rest his walking wounded for a the tournament run. 

This is an important match, but it is one the Red Devils will win.


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