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Sir Alex wary of Cluj threat; Suarez’s diving rep worries Rodgers

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is fully aware of the threat posed by CFR Cluj ahead of the Red Devils’ UEFA Champions League clash with the Liga I Bergenbier side.

United’s starting XI will feature the “experienced players” at the Dr. Constantin Rădulescu Stadium in Cluj-Napoca on Tuesday, with Sir Alex surely seeking redemption after being axed in the group stages of the competition last term.

“We will play the experienced players on Tuesday,” confirmed Fergie.

“Cluj knocked out Basel over two legs in the qualifier and that shows where they are.

“They won in Braga, it’s not an easy place to go to. We are taking it seriously. They think they can qualify now.

“They have a home game against United, get something and they are in a good position.”

In addition, United striker Wayne Rooney admitted that the Red Devils must be on top form in order to avoid a repeat nightmare of last season.

Champions League Betting Odds | CFR Cluj v Manchester United

CFR Cluj (9/2) v Manchester United (4/6); Draw (11/4)

Total Goals | Over 2.5 (19/20) | Under 2.5 (17/20)

Manchester United Goalscorers | Robin van Persie (10/11) | Wayne Rooney (11/10) | Javier Hernandez (11/10)

CFR Cluj Goalscorers | Modou Sougou (11/4) | Carlos Ronny (3/1) | Rafael Bastos (3/1)

The Red Devils are 1/9 to win Group H — which includes Braga, CFR Cluj and Galatasaray — outright.

Suarez’s diving rep worries Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is fearful that star forward Luis Suarez will find it hard to brush off his reputation for diving following  referee Mike Jones’ refusal to award a penalty to the Uruguayan despite a rather obvious penalty against Norwich City defender Leon Barnett on Saturday.

The Uruguay international was also denied a spot kick one week prior, when Manchester United centre-back Jonny Evans tripped the 25-year-old striker in the penalty area.

“There is that fear,” revealed Rodgers. “I could tell you about three or four strikers who go down in the box with very minimal contact, and all of them have had penalties this year.

“Everyone in the ground saw it was a penalty. Apart from the referee.

“I can’t worry too much about it. It’s something that hopefully the referees, when they analyse and assess their own performance, will have a look at.”

On a positive note, Liverpool have crawled their way out of the bottom-three after defeating Norwich 5-2 at Carrow Road. Despite being denied a clear-cut penalty, Suarez still managed to bag a hat-trick against the Canaries.

That’s five goals in six league games for Suarez this season. Now then, is the Uruguayan returning to his scintillating form of 2009-10, which resulted in 48 goals and seven assists in 54 appearances for both club and country?

Mon 1 October, 2012
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