Champions League: Nothing in It for Manchester United

Andrew VorceCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2007

sportslogos.netUnited are used to having every game count.

Whether in the Premier League or Champions League, big games are normal.

In the midst of a fiercely legitimate domestic-title race, United enter Tuesday's Champions League game with AS Roma not even needing to win the game.

United sit atop Group F with 15 points, and their nearest competitors are Roma with ten.

Regardless of the result, United will still join Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Milan in the final stages.

So who should play in a game that counts for nothing?

The starting eleven will most likely feature these players: Kuszczak, Simpson, Ferdinand, Pique, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, O'Shea, Nani, and the striking pair of Rooney and Tevez.

With only four normal starters, the game will be a test run on some of the younger talent. Given the young side, you can expect a loaded bench.

Van Der Sar, Ronaldo, Brown, Saha, Anderson, Eagles, and Vidic will all be waiting on the sidelines should things not go the way Sir Alex wants them to.

And that could be a possibility, if Roma have anything to say about it. With last season's 7-1 defeat still on their minds, this game will be as much about pride as anything. Roma may use their time in the spotlight to enact a little bit of revenge on the Red Devils.

You'll notice the rare appearances of Eagles, Simpson, and Pique on the field. All three of these players have paid their dues for United in the past, and now may be their time to shine on the big stage. 

On top of this midweek match, United must travel to Liverpool on the weekend. United may be thinking ahead to the Reds and completely overlooking this game, which could produce some volatile results.

United will only have six days to heal and train for what may make or break their season.

Team selection aside, this tournament is shaping up to be a good one. With United yet to be beaten, Roma may want to put a stop to their shining season, and possibly a damper on their domestic duty.