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Champions League Quarter Final

Fergie wants to keep Rio fresh

Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Manchester United can secure UEFA Champions League qualification by beating Braga so he can hand Rio Ferdinand more time to rest.

Last Updated: 07/11/12 at 19:10 Post Comment

Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United defender set to be given a rest in the coming w

Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United defender set to be given a rest in the coming w

United have won their opening three group games and another victory over Braga in Portugal on Wednesday night would book a spot in the last 16 of the competition.

With Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all dealing with injuries, Ferguson has been left with just the veteran Ferdinand and Jonny Evans as his fit senior centre-halves.

But the United boss has revealed that Smalling is set to make his first appearance of the season on Wednesday, while Jones will return to training next week.

"The game in Braga will give me a chance to utilise my squad," said Ferguson. "I'll be making some changes. If we can get the win it's better, but we want to make sure we qualify first. If we do, it gives me options to utilise Smalling and Jones.

"Phil Jones will start training with us next Monday which is good news - he is making really good progress now.

"Chris Smalling is with the party and will be involved on Wednesday. They can only help us with that - those two are outstanding young defenders and it will give us a fantastic squad to take on all our challenges.

"Then we can make sure that Ferdinand is fresh for all these games. I won't have to worry about playing him Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday.

"That's an important issue. I don't expect Vidic to be back until Christmas so it adds back-up in that respect."

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I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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