Giggs wary of away goals
Ryan Giggs is confident Manchester United can show their class in Tuesday night's Champions League match with Marseille at Old Trafford.
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United head into the fixture having managed only a goalless draw in the opening leg in France three weeks ago. It is a scoreline fraught with danger given the Red Devils were eliminated on away goals after exactly the same result in Monaco during the 1997/98 Champions League campaign.
But, as Giggs readily admits, United were below par in Marseille's Stade Velodrome. And with home advantage and confidence lifted by an impressive FA Cup triumph over Arsenal, the veteran Welshman is in optimistic mood.
"At Old Trafford we back ourselves against anyone,'' said Giggs. "It is going to be tough. It is the Champions League and 0-0 is always a sticky scoreline because we know if they score an away goal we will have to get two. What we need to do is get one and then pile on the goals to negate the possibility of an away one.''
Giggs feels there are a number of factors in United's favour. Home advantage usually makes a difference, as should a surface that will assist the hosts' preference for a speedy passing game. In addition, Giggs feels Marseille manager Didier Deschamps will at some stage have to ask his team to engage their opponents on the front foot, something they failed to do in the first meeting.
"Marseille were quite solid in the first leg but they didn't risk anything,'' said Giggs. "They were probably afraid to concede an away goal. As a consequence, we didn't get into our rhythm like we know we can. The pitch was a bit uneven so our passing wasn't as crisp and the tempo wasn't what Manchester United are used to. We defended well but overall it wasn't the best of games. I am sure this one will be better.''
Sir Alex Ferguson is still contending with a large number of injuries. Rio Ferdinand heads a list of absentees that still includes Darren Fletcher, Jonny Evans and Anderson, with Owen Hargreaves and Park Ji-sung set to miss out as well.
There is some good news though. Skipper Nemanja Vidic should be available after missing training yesterday with a minor knock, whilst both Michael Carrick and Michael Owen should be available along with Nani, who was ruled out by Ferguson on Friday but has made a quicker than expected recovery from a badly gashed leg.