Norman Whiteside backs Manchester United to beat Rangers
Northern Ireland great Norman Whiteside has tipped his old club Manchester United to break the hearts of Rangers fans at Ibrox tomorrow night.
The Gers enter this latest Battle of Britain clash knowing they need a victory to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
With just two matches remaining in the group for each side, Rangers trail United by five points and are two points behind second placed Valencia, who host whipping boys Bursapor tomorrow.
It’s going to be a big ask for the Glasgow giants to make it into the last 16.
And even though they drew 0-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the competition, Whiteside believes victory over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side could be beyond them.
The former United star said: “I know many people in Northern Ireland will be taking a big interest in the game at Ibrox because so many fans follow Rangers and United.
“I was at the 0-0 game at Old Trafford between the sides and would have say it's the worst I've seen us (United) play in 10 years.
“To be fair Rangers came with a very negative approach and put nine men at the back with just one up front. I'd never seen that system before and we couldn't break them down which was disappointing.
“At Ibrox, Rangers will need to come out a bit more and attack because they need a win. I believe that will suit us and feel that United can go to Glasgow and get a result.”
They did just that in 2003 when Phil Neville scored the winner for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side amid a ferocious atmosphere at Ibrox.
Whiteside’s counrtymen Steve Davis and Kyle Lafferty will hope to reverse that scoreline seven years on.
Their Northern Ireland buddy Jonny Evans would love to play, though he may have to settle for a place on the bench after captaining his country last week.
Whiteside is confident that Evans will be the latest Ulsterman to have a fine career at the Theatre of Dreams.
“Jonny has been great at United so far,” says Whiteside.
“He's got a couple of tough nuts to crack in Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic but if he can hang around for a couple of years, he can become the dominant defender at Old Trafford.
“Up to now I think Jonny has been brilliant and they have high hopes about his young brother Corry, so maybe he can make it at Old Trafford too.”
While Whiteside feels United, with Wayne Rooney playing from the start, will overcome Rangers tomorrow, he admits it’s a little tougher to predict who will win the Premier League title.
The ex-Stretford End hero says: “We haven't been brilliant so far, but the Premier League is so open this year we aren’t way behind.
“Chelsea have lost a few games, so have Arsenal while Liverpool are nowhere, so I expect United will be there or thereabouts at the end.
“We haven't lost yet, but we're not firing on all cylinders. I'm just waiting for that to happen. Maybe it will happen against Rangers which in turn would help United in the Premier League.”