Rangers vs Man Utd Preview
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson goes into Wednesday's clash with Rangers promising that the return of Wayne Rooney will bring about a settled strikeforce.Ferguson has rotated his attacking options regularly this season with Rooney struggling with form, fitness and personal problems.
Dimitar Berbatov began the season in exhilarating style but has regressed recently. But Ferguson has pledged that the Bulgarian will be united with Rooney on a consistent basis from now on in a bid to improve results.
"We have been changing the strikers quite a lot recently and I have to accept responsibility for changing it too much," Ferguson said.
"Now we are going to have a more consistent look about our team.
"We have a lot of good young options but hopefully we can get Wayne Rooney back to his best and Dimitar is suited to playing with Wayne."
If the return of Rooney to the starting line-up dominates debate over Ferguson's team selection, Berbatov's slump in form is not that far behind.
During a stellar first month of the campaign, United's £30.75million record buy was in outstanding form, capped by a brilliant hat-trick against Liverpool.
But he did not even make the bench for the weekend win over Wigan and doubt is again being raised about his long-term future.
"It has not taken Dimitar back to square one," Ferguson insisted. "In our game it is very difficult to play well every week.
"We are in a competitive league. The results themselves tell you something. Getting consistency of performance from front players is very difficult.
"Look around at other clubs. They are finding it much the same as us."
Opposite number Walter Smith is praying Rooney is not yet up to speed - but knows his side could find themselves up against a revitalised Rooney instead in what is a vital game for the Scottish champions.
The 25-year-old is set to start in Glasgow after making his comeback from injury as a substitute against Wigan, having completed a period of rehabilitation in the United States for an ankle problem.
And Smith said: "Once you get rid of all the stuff that was going on in the background, they will be looking forward to getting him back playing again.
"I can only hope tomorrow that he's a little bit rusty through lack of activity in terms of games.
"From a Manchester United point of view, they will be delighted to have him back."
Smith has worries over his own team selection, with Madjid Bougherra and Maurice Edu both sidelined and Sasa Papac rated doubtful, meaning he will have to rethink the ultra-defensive formation which has served him well in the majority of European outings so far.
He said: "The squad is weakened, I don't think there is any doubt about that.
"We've lost not only them. If we lose Papac, they are three players who have started for us regularly.
"The injuries to Andy Webster and James Beattie are also causing us a little bit of a problem in terms of players to come in and fill the breach for us.
"There is no doubt that losing Bougherra and Edu will be a problem for us. We don't have a big squad of players and we find ourselves down to more or less the 11 players tomorrow night.
"We have to change our way of playing in this game by the nature of the fact that we've got a few injury problems that will cause us to do that. We will see how we handle it. Hopefully we can still get together and do well."