Galatasaray vs. Manchester United: Keys to Victory for Red Devils

Ryan DavenportContributor INovember 19, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United reacts during the Barclays Premier league match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on November 10, 2012 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Manchester United will be taking on Turkish club Galatasaray in UEFA Champions League play at Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul. 

Sir Alex Ferguson's side will be looking to get off to a good start, as the club attempts to make a run toward its first Champions League title since 2008.

What makes the match even more important for the club is the fact that United are coming off a loss to Norwich, so a second consecutive loss would be a troubling sign of things to come. 

Heading into tomorrow's match, here are some of the keys to victory for Manchester United's road game against Galatasaray. 


Rooney Return 

As of now, Rooney is questionable for the match on Tuesday, as ESPN's Richard Jolly reports

The striker came off in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa with an ankle injury which forced him to miss England's friendly defeat to Sweden in Stockholm.

And he sat out United's 1-0 loss at Norwich but Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that was because of illness. "He's had tonsillitis," the Scot told MUTV.

In Rooney's absence, Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez were paired in attack at Carrow Road but the United manager said the Liverpudlian could return.

"We hope he'll be in on Sunday - we'll see what he's like then," Ferguson added. "If he does [come in] hopefully we can get him ready for Tuesday."

With Rooney on the pitch, the Red Devils boast without a doubt the Premier League's most impressive collection of offensive talents, and his presence takes pressure off Robin van Persie. 

If the English star is able to play, Man United's chances at coming away with a victory tomorrow increase dramatically, because anytime he's playing, Rooney has the ability to be a difference-maker. 


Get the Game's First Goal

Too often this season, United have had to orchestrate second-half comebacks after falling behind early, and fortunately, most of they time they've been able to steal victories late in games. 

However, after losing to Norwich, United needs to change this trend and should be hungry to score the game's first goal in order to avoid having to execute frantic late rallies. 

The Red Devils need to gain back the confidence they lost following the defeat at the hands of Norwich, and the best way they can do that is score early and often in their Champions League match on Tuesday. 


Better Performances Out of Stars

Against Norwich, van Persie and Hernandez had very poor performances, and with Rooney out, the Red Devils offense sputtered on Saturday. 

In order to avoid losing again, United needs better showings from both RVP and Hernandez, because their offense revolves around the pair when Rooney is off the pitch.