Mata looking for fans to give Man Utd Champions League boost

Manchester United star Juan Mata has called on the Old Trafford crowd to play its part when Wolfsburg visits in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash.

United suffered a surprise defeat at PSV on matchday one and is desperate for maximum points when it takes on Dieter Hecking’s side in its first home game in the tournament proper since April 2014.
Mata believes Wolfsburg has responded well to the loss of playmaker Kevin De Bruyne to United’s rival Manchester City, but is determined to get his side up and running in Europe after it moved to the top of the Premier League at the weekend with a 3-0 win over Sunderland.


“We know we must fix our situation in the group after losing against PSV on week one,” Mata wrote in his blog. “In order to do so we count on Old Trafford, because we are sure our crowd will celebrate being back to the top competition in Europe.

“The Germans played very well last season, and they are having a good start in this one. I have seen them in a few games and they are a dangerous team with talented players I know very well, like [Andre] Schurrle, a former team-mate.

“After Kevin De Bruyne’s exit they have made important signings like [Julian] Draxler, and they keep being very competitive.”

Wolfsburg has suffered a blip since its 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow a fortnight ago, losing 5-1 to a Robert Lewandowski-inspired Bayern Munich before being held by local rival Hannover, and Schurrle wants his team-mates to turn their focus quickly towards the trip to Manchester.

“We were the better team for 90 minutes and absolutely deserved to win. Sometimes in football it goes like that, though, and we didn’t make enough of the chances we had,” the Germany forward told the Bundesliga’s official website after the 1-1 draw with Hannover.

“It’s pretty tough to take but dwelling on it doesn’t help. Wednesday’s game is already almost upon us so we have to focus on that now.”

Luiz Gustavo (knee) missed the Hannover match and remains a doubt to face United, as does Koen Casteels (toe). Robin Knoche (ankle) and Vieirinha (thigh) are out.

United, who lost Luke Shaw to a broken leg in its 2-1 loss in Eindhoven, also has concerns over the fitness of Marcos Rojo (hamstring) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee).

Louis van Gaal’s side will aim to replicate the result from its first Champions League encounter with Wolfsburg – which was played exactly six years prior to Wednesday’s meeting – when it won 2-1 thanks to a late Michael Carrick goal.
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