Champions League draw reaction

Wolfsburg: United rivals playing for second

August 28, 2009

The coach of German champions Wolfsburg has all but admitted his team are playing for second place behind Manchester United in their Champions League group.

Wolfsburg, who topped the Bundesliga last season, could be tricky opponents for United but their coach Armin Veh is tipping the Red Devils as potential winners of the whole tournament. And Veh admits his team's challenge will be to eliminate CSKA Moscow and Besiktas, the other teams in Group B.

He said: "Manchester United are not only big favourites in our group but for the Champions League title itself. But we want to qualify for the knockout stage so we have to oust CSKA Moscow and Besiktas. Of course, our opponents have much more experience in Europe than we have, but we still hope to make our mark on the Champions League."

CSKA midfielder Evgeniy Aldonin declared it will be a privilege and the fulfilment of a personal ambition when he gets the chance to play United.

"I am happy we got Manchester United as I've always wanted to face them," Aldonin said.

"Year on year United are one of the best clubs in Europe - they have been in the last two UEFA Champions League finals."

While some of Manchester United's Champions League opponents are convinced Sir Alex Ferguson's side are heading for the knockout stages, Besiktas midfielder Yusuf Simsek is not prepared to concede defeat to anyone.

Simsek told Besiktas are capable of beating every team in the group.

"We, like the other teams, have a real chance of progressing from our group," he said.

"Manchester United are world giants but Besiktas have beaten Chelsea in the Champions League before [in 2003]. We have the strength and desire to beat any team in the group."