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Fergie happy with chances in Europe

07 Nov 2012 09:00:31

Fergie happy with chances in Europe

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is optimistic the squad he has at his disposal can go all the way in the Champions League this season - and has identified Real Madrid, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund as their main rivals.

United can secure a place in the last 16 of the competition with victory in Wednesday's Group H clash with Braga at the Estadio AXA, or even a draw depending on the outcome of Cluj's match against Galatasaray.

Asked if he felt he had a group of players capable of winning the tournament this season, Ferguson said: "I made a point about how strong the Champions League is and we will need to perform at a real high level to do that."

He added: "I think you can't look past Real Madrid and Barcelona, and I do think Dortmund's campaign will be about the Champions League this year.

"If you look at their league form (they are fifth in the Bundesliga) it tells me they are preparing themselves to do well in the Champions League.

"I think those three teams will have outstanding chances, and I hope we can join them, because I think we have a good squad of players."

Although United have frequently fallen behind in matches this term - they went 2-0 down at home to Braga last month before eventually triumphing 3-2 - they have won 12 of their 15 fixtures in all competitions and not only lead Group H with nine points from three games, but also the Barclays Premier League.

Ferguson's options have been boosted by the return to fitness of Chris Smalling, who he has indicated is in line for his first appearance of the season on Wednesday.

Smalling, sidelined this term by a broken metatarsal, was included in United's travelling party to Portugal having stepped up his rehabilitation in training and Ferguson says he is intending for the England international to be "involved".

Further good news for United is that Smalling's fellow defender Phil Jones, who is also yet to play this campaign due to back and knee problems, is set to resume full training next week.


PA

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