Man United’s Giggs: Van Persie will give us extra edge in Champions League
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs believes new striker Robin van Persie will give the club an extra edge in the Champions League
Ryan Giggs believes Robin van Persie will give Manchester United an “extra edge” in the Champions League this season.
United have made a promising start to their domestic campaign, recovering from an opening loss to record three successive victories, with their £24m signing scoring four goals.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are looking to improve on their group-stage exit in the competition last season.
And Giggs is confident Van Persie, who scored five Champions League goals as Arsenal reached the second round last term, can fire United into the latter stages.
“Robin has the experience of playing in Europe with Arsenal. The goals he has got will hopefully give us that extra edge this season,” Giggs told United’s website.
“Shinji is that kind of player who will thrive in Europe, where possession is key. He keeps the ball.
“He gets into positions where he is hard to pick up. I am sure they will both be good additions.”
The 19-time English champions kick off their European campaign with a tie against Galatasaray at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
And Giggs underlined the importance of the Red Devils winning their home games after securing maximum points just once at the Theatre of Dreams last season.
“We need to win our home games and perform at home,” he added. “We usually say 10 or more points gets you through so if you win your home games and try and draw away from home, you are usually through.
“We didn’t manage it last year and didn’t perform at Old Trafford the way we have done in the past. We want to try and rectify that.”
Pre-match facts: Manchester United v Galatasaray
• Galatasaray beat United on away goals in the 1993-94 second round after a 3-3 aggregate draw – the Red Devils side included a young Giggs.
• The clubs met in the 1994-95 group stage, drawing 0-0 in Istanbul before a 4-0 United home victory in December 1994 featuring David Beckham’s first goal for the club. United finished third in the section with Galatasaray fourth.
• United won just one home game in last term’s group stage – against Oţelul Galaţi – and suffered Old Trafford defeats by Ajax and Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League. They last lost their opening Champions League fixture in 1996-97, 1-0 at Juventus.
• Galatasaray have never won in England, where their record reads W0 D3 L4. Their most recent trip brought a 3-2 group stage defeat at Liverpool in 2006-07.