After winning its opening two games, United head into back-to-back fixtures with Portuguese challengers Sporting Braga knowing six points will confirm its place in the last 16 with two matches to spare.
It would represent a swift turnaround from last season's struggles, when it failed to make it out of the group, crashing out with a defeat in
And Carrick is aware the spin-off from early progression will be to give Sir
"It does help the league form if you can get through early," said Carrick.
"The manager can change things around. He can rest players. He can use the squad and give players game time.
"The pressure is off. He can start planning ahead knowing the next stage is already secure.
"It is not always possible. Sometimes it can go down to the last game, which in itself is not always a bad thing.
"Overall though, it is better to get it done and dusted."
Not that Carrick is taking anything for granted.
Braga has managed to split the traditional dominance of the 'big three' in
And though it suffered a surprise defeat to Cluj in the opening round of fixtures, Braga's 2-0 win at Galatasaray three weeks ago will make plenty sit up and take notice.
As it also boasts a five-match unbeaten record against English opposition, Carrick is right to be wary.
"It can be quite tough to judge in the Champions League," he said.
"It isn't necessarily the teams that catch your eye who are the ones that cause you problems.
"You have to respect them for getting to this stage.
"It is not easy in any league to go through the whole season near the top. They are going to be of a certain standard and we have to match it."
After his pointed comments about
Ferdinand did sit out the home game against Galatasaray last month, although following the injury to skipper
Ferguson is due to speak at the scheduled pre-match press conference, when, for once, he might be on the back foot given it is difficult to see what sanctions he can impose on the former England defender, who refused to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt at the weekend.
UEFA Champions League
Turkish side Fenerbahce could face another ban from the UEFA Champions League after UEFA announced the club and five officials will have match-fixing charges heard by its disciplinary body later this month.