Date: 18th September 2007 at 5:04pm
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Carlos Queiroz declared that United will play a cautious game tomorrow. Wow, big surprise.

Ever since the tragic 2-3 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in 2000, Sir Alex is desperate to prevent teams hitting us on the break in the Champions League. This process has only increased with the arrival of Carlos Queiroz, to the extent that United’s European away games are now worth a medieval torture.

It won’t change, apparently. Fergie’s mania of keeping possession in Europe resulted in tragically inept performances due to the simple fact that we have players who love to go for the kill and who always look for the killer ball. Suppressing this instinct seems to confuse them though I must admit that there are signs of improvement: second half of the Benfica game last season, the first 30 minutes in Rome…

The arrival of Owen Hargreaves is meant to break our away hoodoo but he’s out of tomorrow’s game. Will that automatically trigger an attack-minded approach? Hell, no.

‘We are going to play a cautious game because we respect Sporting,’ Queiroz told Uefa.com. ‘However, we will play with ambition because we want to collect the three points at the Alvalade.

‘This is not the best time to face Sporting. This is not our best moment and this is also the first group stage match. But hopefully we can get the result we want.’

United have scored 4 goals in six league games and conceded only 2. Imagine what will happen if we play a cautious game… it’s unlikely to be a goal-fest.

I would have only one advice. It’s a grave mistake to try to play a low-pace game at a Portuguese team. That would suit them fine. Maintaining a high tempo throughout the game has always been one of United’s main strengths and we should try to exploit that. It usually works at Old Trafford… ask Roma players.