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Manchester United cannot wait for the Champions League to resume next week, according to defender Wes Brown.Sir Alex Ferguson's side face Lyon in the first leg of the last 16 in France on Wednesday night.

With this being the 50th anniversary of the Munich air crash, United would love nothing better than to lift the trophy as a tribute to the 23 people who died, including eight of their players.

Certainly, their form in the group stages could hardly have been better as they look to emulate the class of 1999.

They managed to get their hands on the trophy with a nailbiting victory against Bayern Munich.

United won their group this season at a canter, recording five straight victories against Sporting Lisbon, Dynamo Kiev and Roma.

Then they had to settle for a point against Roma in December when qualification was already assured.

Two months on and England right-back Brown is anxious for the side to progress to the next phase.

He said: "We have all been looking forward to the Champions League starting again as we enjoy being in all competitions.

"We have played Lyon in the past and every time it has been difficult there.

"Perhaps they are not as strong as in previous years but they can punish you just the same.

"We are happy to be in the competition and want to progress to the next stage."

Lyon recovered from losing their first two group games to pick up 10 points from four matches, including a decisive 3-0 victory against Rangers at Ibrox.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is pleased the second leg is Old Trafford on March 4.

He said: "It's maybe the hardest of the five (possible draws) we could have got.

"Lyon have won their league for the last six seasons in a row - that's an incredible record.

"They've lost some players over the last few years but they're always capable of producing new ones.

"It's important to come back from France with a good result. Then our fans, with Old Trafford at its loudest, can help us go through."

United have registered an additional three youngsters for the competition - striker Daniel Welbeck (17), defender Craig Cathcart (19) and midfielder Rodrigo Possebon (19).

Possebon, who was recruited from Brazil's Sport Club Internacional, made his debut for the reserves in midweek.

Former United star Paddy Crerand was impressed by the rookie's performance.

"I'm looking forward to seeing an awful lot more of this boy," Crerand told MUTV. "He was fantastic.

"He can use both feet, he's very calm on the ball and his passing is very, good. He's a big lad too, so he's strong and can hold off players.

"Players like Paul Scholes are always looking around and know exactly where they want to play the ball before it even comes to them.

"This kid looks as if he could be that kind of player."
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