Ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial Champions League against Basel, Darren Fletcher has insisted that the players are fully prepared because they know what is at stake. In 2005, United failed to qualify from the group and thankfully were saved from having the compete in the UEFA Cup.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than this,” said Fletcher. “This club needs to qualify for the Champions League, so we know we have to get a positive result. They are going to come at us because they have to win the game and we’re fully aware of that. We are under no illusions as to what we have to do. We need a positive result and we’ll be going to win the game because you never know what Benfica will do in the other game. We fully expect them to win, but you never know, so it’s important we win the match. If we do that we might get a little favour with Benfica not winning, in which case we win the group. But if not, we will finish second – the most important thing now is getting through. You want to be through by this stage and you want to be in pole position to win the group. Unfortunately, we are not in that position and so you look back to the two home draws with Basel and Benfica. If you don’t win your home games in the Champions League then it’s never going to be as easy as you’d like.”