Braga v Man United: Ferguson focused on securing top spot in Group H
Braga v Man United: Sir Alex Ferguson wants the Red Devils to secure top spot in Group H and their place in the last 16
Sir Alex Ferguson has urged Manchester United to secure top spot in Group H ahead of their trip to Braga in the Champions League.
The Red Devils have secured maximum points in the group stage to date, with Ferguson’s men beating Braga 3-2 at Old Trafford in their last outing.
With the 71-year-old celebrating his 26th anniversary as United manager on Tuesday, the Scotsman admitted cementing their place in the last-16 would be the ideal present.
“Yes, it would be a nice one,” Ferguson told United’s website.
“And with nine points from the first three games we really should be kicking on and make sure we confirm the number one spot. That’s the important thing. It’s always good to win your group.”
United failed to reach the knockout stage last season, and Ferguson believes his stronger team selection this term has helped the Red Devils surge to the top of Group H.
“After the experience of last season, we’re showing that we’re paying more attention to team selection in the sense that we’ve used a big proportion of experienced players,” he said.
“The front players in our home game against Braga would be a handful for any team – [Robin] Van Persie, Javier Hernández and Wayne Rooney. Having a goal threat like that gives you a backbone.”
Braga v Man United: Pre-match facts
• Braga have won their last four home meetings with English opposition and did not concede a goal in posting victories over Birmingham City (1-0), Liverpool (1-0), Arsenal (2-0) and Portsmouth (3-0) during the past five years.
• The victory over Arsenal, courtesy of two Matheus strikes, came in the 2010/11 Champions League and featured Alan, Leandro Salino and Hugo Viana
• United’s record in Portugal is W5 D2 L4. They are unbeaten in four visits dating back to December 2005 and a 2-1 loss at Benfica.
• The Red Devils won the first of their three European Cups by beating Benfica 4-1 in the 1968 final at Wembley.