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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 28, 2006

Vidic keen to make impression on Champions League

Nemanja Vidic is not just looking to spoil Chelsea's title party at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. He wants a guaranteed spot in the Champions League as well.

With goal difference heavily in their favour, Manchester United need just three points from their final three fixtures over the next week to stave off the threat of Liverpool for the runners-up berth.

So, by becoming the first team to beat Chelsea on their own patch in the Premiership since Jose Mourinho took charge of the Blues two summers ago, United would not only put the Londoners' championship celebrations on hold but book their place in the group stages of Europe's major competition.

And, after a disastrous continental campaign this term for Vidic, it would mark the start of United's European redemption.

'Manchester United should be playing in the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Champions League every year,' Vidic told MUTV.

'It is very important for us to do well in Europe and by getting straight into the group phase, it means we can have a proper break and then come back fully prepared.'

Claiming an automatic Champions League berth would have extra significance for Vidic as the £7million transfer window arrival from Spartak Moscow has never played in the competition before.

The attraction of doing so was one of the major reasons why the highly-rated Serbian international opted to join United ahead of a queue of clubs which also included Liverpool and Fiorentina.

And he is determined by the time his spell in England comes to an end, he will have plenty of fond memories to look back on.

'I have not played in the Champions League before so I hope to put that right next season,' he said.

'When I finish my career, I want to look back and remember I played in the competition and did well in it.'

Despite fierce competition from Wes Brown, Vidic is expected to start alongside Rio Ferdinand in central defence, while Sir Alex Ferguson will check on the extent of a minor groin problem Gabriel Heinze picked up on reserve-team duty on Tuesday before finalising his squad.

After sticking with Ruud van Nistelrooy for the excellent Easter Monday win at Tottenham, Ferguson is once again faced with a striking dilemma as fit-again Louis Saha is pushing to partner Wayne Rooney.

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