Carrick ready for Marseille

Michael Carrick is ready for the 'buzz' of the UEFA Champions League again ahead of Manchester United's trip to Marseille.

The last 16 of the competition resumed last week when United's Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur both recorded impressive first-leg victories.

The Red Devils get their quest for a third final appearance in four seasons back up and running on Wednesday evening with a tricky clash in Marseille.

Carrick, who was part of the 2008 team which overcame Chelsea in the final on penalties, admits it was strange watching Arsenal and Spurs in European action.

However, the England midfielder is hoping it will be worth the wait when United take to the pitch at the intimidating Stade Velodrome.

"The buzz you get with the Champions Leagueis something that no other competition brings," said Carrick.

"It was strange watching Tottenham and Arsenal last week and not being involved.

"We have had to wait an extra week but we are ready for it."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 22 February 2011

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The most boring (and hence memorable) game I ever saw was Arsenal away in 1981. Nil nil and I'm not even sure there was a shot on goal, let alone on target. This game was close.

- Raj

Quite pleased with the result. Marseille didnt look up to much and we should beat them fairly convincingly at home. Bit disapointed with the attacking side of our game, but i suppose we had limited options with Giggs, Valencia, Park and Anderson all out. Nothing against Berbatov, but i think we're best away from home with Rooney as the lone front man and two proper wingers supporting him. Smalling by far the biggest positive of the night. I'm sure he'll go through a bad patch and drop a few clangers but in the long term he looks a great prospect and the natural replacement for Rio.

- twoc2002

Credit to Marseille who set up to keep us quiet and did exactly that. The midfield were ineffective because they were being pressed well and because the passing options were closed off by their defence. This is the thing I hate about the away goals rule, it's supposed to discourage negative tactics, but it actually rewards the team that plays at home first if they draw 0-0. Now all they have to do is nick a goal in the away leg (and I wouldn't put it past them) and we need 2. That said I still think we'll get the goals we need to go through, and if we can't beat them then we don't deserve to progress.

- fenwar

That was an awful game. The midfield were poor Michael Carrick offers nothing anymore and Nani was very frustrating tonight. Scholes should have started. Thought we missed Rafael attacking down the right as well. The one big positive was another great performance from Chris Smalling. It's not the best scoreline in the world but it's better then a defeat. We should turn them over in Old Trafford.

- Munsterman

Yawn... less said about that game the better.

- Bragg

Indeed the team does pick itself. Anderson out for 2 months is a massive blow if true. Re. Attacking options from the bench: Hernandez is as they come thankfully; his pre-World Cup signing is proving to be such a good piece of business. Josh King has been nothing short of superb since he came back from his loan spell at Preston but don't think the boss has any plans to play him. So perhaps Obertan will be more at home vs French opposition? Interesting that he did all of the press stuff with Sir Alex today.

- Bragg

I think the team kind of picks itself at the minute so I'd have to go along with exactly the same line-up as that. The worrying thing is that the only attacking option we've really got from the bench is Hernandez (assuming you exclude Obertan, Bebe and Gibson at the moment although all could be useful later in the game to come on against tired legs).

- Dave

This could be a tricky game, not least with several players - Giggs, Park, Valencia, Anderson, Ferdinand, Evans, Owen - all absent. Given the lack of width, I can't see any better options than using Rooney coming in from the left. Squad from: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Lindegaard, Vidic, O'Shea, Brown, Rafael, Fábio, Evra, Smalling, Scholes, Gibson, Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Bébé, Obertan, Tunnicliffe, Rooney, Berbatov, Hernández, King. Assuming Rafael is over his concussion (which didn't seem to be the case on Saturday) I'd go with something like: Van Der Sar; Rafael, Vidic, Smalling, Evra; Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick; Nani, Berbatov, Rooney.

- Neil