Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v Newcastle

Friday, 26 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Villa Park

Last Game

A Villa 1 - 1 Man Utd

Saturday, 20 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Scottish Championship: SFA has reject Rangers' request to increase Mike Ashley's shareholding in club

The SFA has turned down a request from Rangers to allow Mike Ashley to increase his shareholding in the club to 29.9 per cent.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property