Manchester United won’t be able to field their strongest starting line-up when they take on Wolfsburg in their crunch Champions League group stage match this evening - but you can bet your bottom dollar the team will look better on paper than it did back in 2009.
The last time United travelled to Wolfsburg, back in December 2009, Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to deploy a pretty awful makeshift starting XI following a succession of untimely injuries.
However, thanks to Ferguson’s genius, United were still able to run out 3-1 winners at the Volkswagen Arena thanks to a hat-trick from Michael Owen. (Scroll down this page to see Man Utd’s XI from that night).
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United lined up with Tomasz Kuszczak in goal and a back four comprised of Park Ji-Sung, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra.
Darron Gibson and Paul Scholes were in central midfield; Nani and Danny Welbeck occupied the flanks, while Anderson - yes, really - was deployed in the hole behind hat-trick hero Owen.
The subs' bench was even worse...
How United managed to secure a 3-1 away win from that fixture is anyone’s guess.
Just in case you’re wondering who made the bench that night, there’s a good chance you might have totally forgotten about a few of the following players.
The substitutes were: Ben Foster, Oliver Gill, Antonio Valencia, Magnus Wolf Eikrem, Matthew James, Gabriel Obertan and Cameron Stewart.
Van Gaal needs a similar result
Louis van Gaal will have better players at his disposal this evening but has to get a similar result.
Defeat - or potentially even a draw - and Manchester United could find themselves out of the Champions League later this evening.
Will Manchester United qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds? Have your say by leaving a comment below!
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