Draw enough for Man United to secure group win

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Manchester United needs a draw at German champion Wolfsburg to make sure of winning its Champions League group.

Updated: December 08, 2009 14:50 IST
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Manchester United needs a draw at German champion Wolfsburg to make sure of winning its Champions League group.

Alex Ferguson's team is already sure of advancing and can even afford to lose Tuesday's match and still end up on top if CSKA beat Besiktas in Istanbul in Group B's other match.

Should Manchester United lose and CSKA win, United, Wolfsburg and the Russian club would all finish on 10 points, with United winning the group because of a better head-to-head record and Wolfsburg also advancing as the second-placed team.

Wolfsburg could also win the group if it beats United and CSKA fails to win in Istanbul.

The German club is undefeated in its previous two games at home and United goes into the match with a depleted squad.

Defender Nemanja Vidic has been ruled out of the match because of flu, compounding Ferguson's problems in defense after Gary Neville and Wes Brown limped off in the 4-0 win over West Ham on Saturday.

The only regular defender left is Patrice Evra,wih io Frdnad,Jon 'Sea Jnn Ean ad afelan Fbio d Silva all injured.

Ferguson has already indicated he will play Michael Carrick in central defense, while Darren Fletcher seems certain to occupy a defensive berth, too.

In addition to the defensive problems _ goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar is also missing - Ferguson is resting Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov, meaning Michael Owen and Danny Welbeck are the only strikers in his 19-man squad.

The squad includes rarely used players such as Oliver Gill, son of chief executive David, Magnus Eikrem, Cameron Stewart, Matt James and Oliver Norwood.

"This was one of the toughest groups," midfielder Paul Scholes said. "We had to go to Moscow, which is always difficult, especially on a plastic pitch, and it is the same in Turkey, yet we managed to win both games.

"We want to win the game and finish top of the group. How much difference that makes to who we get in the next round, I am not too sure. There are lots of good teams at that stage of the tournament," Scholes added.

Wolfsburg is coming off another home disappointment in the Bundesliga. On Saturday it drew 2-2 against promoted Freiburg after missing scores of chances.

"We won't get as many chances against United," coach Armin Veh said. "We'll have to be more cautious because they are very strong. We are so close to making it now."

Striker Grafite returns after serving out a suspension.

"I hope I play better than I did against Freiburg," he said.

His Bosnian strike partner Edin Dzeko had 15 shots at goal against Freiburg but failed to score.

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