UEFA Champions League Preview: Manchester United v Shakhtar Donetsk
By Football News
David Moyes is eager to lift the gloom at Manchester United by beating Shakhtar Donetsk to win UEFA Champions League Group A on Tuesday.
United are well off the pace in the race for the Premier League title after suffering back-to-back 1-0 defeats against Everton and Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Shakhtar will be looking to consign them to another home loss when they visit the English champions for the first time as the Ukrainian's strive to secure their place in the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition.
United have already qualified courtesy of their ruthless 5-0 demolition of Bayer Leverkusen last month, but second-placed Shakhtar need to match or better Leverkusen's result at Real Sociedad in order to progress.
Moyes has come in for criticism due to United's disappointing domestic form, but they are unbeaten in Europe and only need a point to finish top of the group.
The former Everton manager is determined to finish off the job and secure a morale-boosting win, which would ensure they have triumphed in all three group games at Old Trafford for the first time in six years.
"It's important we give ourselves every chance of progressing even further in the Champions League by finishing top," Moyes said.
"It won't make it easier but it will give us a little bit of an advantage by having the second game (in the last 16) at home.
"We will do everything we can to be top and, as well as that, we're unbeaten in the group and want to stay unbeaten if we can make that happen."
Striker Wayne Rooney will be available after serving a one-match ban, but midfielder Michael Carrick (Achilles) is definitely out and Moyes hinted that he will make changes to his starting line-up.
"We have qualified, so it gives me a chance to have a look at that," he said.
Mircea Lucescu's Shakhtar side come into the game on the back of four consecutive wins in all competitions.
A 4-0 hammering of Real Sociedad last time out in the Champions League lifted them above Leverkusen and they can take heart from the fact that they drew 1-1 with United in October.
Lucescu has no injury concerns to contend with for the crunch clash at Old Trafford and in Brazilian Luiz Adriano, he has an in-form striker who has scored in each of his last three games.