Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Carrick confident of United goals in Porto test

Michael Carrick is confident Manchester United will score in Porto tonight to give themselves a chance of reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

In all probability, United will have to become the first English team to beat the Portuguese champions on their own ground if they are to reach the last four for the third season running.

Given the Red Devils' recent defensive frailties — they have not kept a clean sheet in five games — Sir Alex Ferguson's men might have to hit the net more than once.

But Carrick feels his team-mates are capable of achieving that, which would allow a side that could welcome back Rio Ferdinand from a groin injury, to defend with more confidence.

"We always believe we can score," said the England midfielder. "Sometimes it doesn't quite happen. But we always give it our best.

"If we play well we can exploit the best of teams. We have the players to do it and we are set up as a team to do it. As long as we play to our potential I am sure we will cause them problems."

Ferdinand's presence offers hope for a better performance than the one they produced at Old Trafford last Tuesday. Rafael da Silva is available too, along with fellow Brazilian Anderson.

The visitors could throw caution to the wind from an early stage, effectively being prepared to concede in order to score the two goals that could turn extra time into a possibility.

Alternatively, they may adopt a more cautious approach and try to grind out the win that would take them through knowing an anxious time awaits if they hold a single-goal advantage heading into the final minutes.

"We will approach it like we approach any game, which is to win," said Carrick. "One goal will be enough. Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet and nick it."

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