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UEFA Champions League Group H preview: Tight tussle for second

Galatasaray must better or at least match CFR Cluj’s result on Wednesday if they are to advance from Group H.

Manchester United are already through to the round of 16 as winners of the group but the runner-up position is yet to be decided.

Galatasaray and Cluj are locked on seven points each heading into matchday six but the Turkish side are in the box seat to progress.

Fatih Terim’s troops boast a superior head-to-head record to Cluj, meaning they will advance to the knockout phase as long as they mach Cluj’s performance in the final round of group fixtures.

Galatasaray, who edged United last time out, face bottom side Braga on the back of a three-game unbeaten run.

After losing their opening two games against United and Braga, the 1988/89 Champions League finalists have picked up seven points from a possible nine.

Turkish international Burak Yilmaz has been instrumental in that run, scoring five goals to sit top of the charts alongside Alan (Braga), Lionel Messi (Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

Galatasaray have enjoyed some good results away from home in Europe, losing just two of their last 11 road trips, while Braga have lost three home games in succession.

United are already assured a place in the last 16 as winners of Group H but could still have a say as to who joins them in the next round.

The three-time winners of the tournament host a determined Cluj side aiming to better Galatasaray’s result.

If Wednesday’s results do not go their way, the Romanian outfit are guaranteed a place in the Europa League.

Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to rest a number of key players including Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney with a blockbuster Manchester Derby looming at the weekend.

However, United will want to maintain their impressive home record in the Champions League which has seem them lose just one of their last 37 games.

Tue 4 December, 2012
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