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Ferguson rests key players for Istanbul

SoccerNews in English Premier League 19 Nov 2012

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Alex Ferguson has opted to rest Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand for the Champions League trip to Galatasaray.

Manchester United have already secured their place in the knockout stages of the competition, as a 3-1 win in Braga almost a fortnight ago made it four wins out of four so far.

And with his team looking to maintain their Premier League title challenge, Ferguson has opted to rest a number of senior names – including Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia and David De Gea – in favour of some of the club’s younger players.

Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and defender Tom Thorpe, who have yet to make a senior appearance for the Old Trafford side, have featured at Under-21 level for the club and are capped at England Under-19 level.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Anders Lindegaard.

Defenders: Rafael, Alexander Buttner, Phil Jones, Tom Thorpe, Marnick Vermijl, Scott Wootton.

Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Davide Petrucci, Larnell Cole, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Nick Powell, Ashley Young, Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Strikers: Javier Hernandez, Joshua King, Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda.

Meanwhile, United fans have been urged to show caution throughout their stay in Istanbul.

The Foreign Office have released a string of guidelines amidst concerns there could be a repeat of United’s 1993 trip to play the Turkish side, which was marred by violence off the pitch.

A total of 178 United fans were arrested on that visit after a number of clashes away from the stadium, including one which smashed up an Istanbul hotel.

The match itself was not free of ugly scenes either, with a brawl breaking out between the two sets of players.

United players were infamously greeted with ‘Welcome to Hell’ banners and a vociferous reception from local fans after their arrival in Turkey before they were defeated on away goals.

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