Lille all set to take on Man U in second leg

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Forgetting the first leg would be a big help for Lille when it faces Manchester United on Wednesday in the second leg of the second round.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Forgetting the first leg would be a big help for Lille when it faces Manchester United on Wednesday in the second leg of the second round of the Champions League. United beat the French team 1-0 two weeks ago, with Ryan Giggs scoring an 83rd-minute free kick that was taken before the referee whistled play to restart. The goal stood, and many of Lille's players reacted by walking toward the sideline when play was restarted. Since then, Lille has been charged with improper conduct, and had two appeals to UEFA to overturn the result rejected. United manager Alex Ferguson is hoping none of that past controversy will affect his players on Wednesday at Old Trafford. "There is no reason for us to get involved in any grievances, emotional attachment to the game, other than to win," Ferguson said Tuesday. Rooney match fit United striker Wayne Rooney is fit after recovering from a knock in United's 1-0 win at Liverpool on Saturday, and Alan Smith is set to return from injury. But several key players will be missing, including striker Louis Saha, who has scored four goals in the Champions League this season. Despite Saha's injury, Ferguson said he would not keep Henrik Larsson when his loan spell ends this weekend. "Forget that, that's definite. Henrik goes back after Saturday," Ferguson said. Fullback Patrice Evra and midfielder Paul Scholes are also doubtful for United, while Darren Fletcher is out for two months. With United leading the Premier League by nine points and facing an FA Cup quarterfinal match this weekend, Ferguson said the injuries will give the fringe players an opportunity to shine. "We have a big strong squad and over the last few weeks I think we have actually given most of them run-outs," Ferguson said. "I think now we will see the benefit of that. There will be maybe two or three changes tomorrow." Last year, Lille helped knock United out of the group stage of the Champions League. "They are a top quality side - compact, aggressive," United defender Gabriel Heinze said. Lens will be boosted by the return of winger Kader Keita, who is back after being suspended for the first leg. "He's a quality player, but it depends on us rather than him to control his performances and let him show the quality he undoubtedly has," Heinze said. Keita scored two goals in last weekend's 4-0 win over Troyes and could be the main threat to United's defense. "He has found some freshness, physically and psychologically," Lille coach Claude Puel said. Lille is missing playmaker Mathieu Bodmer, who has a twisted ankle, and Yohan Cabaye, who is sidelined with an abdominal tear.

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