United central defender Jonny Evans is hoping he and Rio Ferdinand will be capable of avoiding injuries and that together the pair will be able to develop a defensive partnership: ‘I think every defender will tell you that when you have a settled partner beside you, you get a good understanding, and with a run of games your match fitness and concentration go up’. The two central defenders are expected to start the away match at Cluj with youngsters Michael Keane and Scott Wootton as the only cover at the position.
Sir Alex Ferguson warned his team in his pre-match conference that they will face a challenge in the away game at Cluj: ‘As part of our preparations we have to assess the opposition and we saw their last performance in the last game against Braga. They’re a good team. They also knocked out Basel. We know from our own last experience that Braga knocked us out, so that gives us every respect for Cluj.’
Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney are likely to start against Cluj with Carrick, Giggs and Scholes all excluded from the squad that travelled to Romania. Youngsters Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell and Ryan Tunnicliffe have also travelled with the 21-man squad that could take part in the Champions League game.
Man Utd squad: De Gea, Lindegaard; Buttner, Evans, Evra, Ferdinand, M.Keane, Rafael, Wootton; Anderson, Cleverley, Fletcher, Lingard, Nani, Powell, Tunnicliffe; Hernandez, Kagawa, Rooney, van Persie, Welbeck.
The manager has praised the progress of Anderson, claiming he is becoming 'difficult to leave out', and hinted he could be in line for a start tonight in Paul Scholes' absence.
Sir Alex Ferguson has rebuked Sergio Aguero’s claims that British players receive preferential treatment from referees in the English games. And Ferguson even claimed that modern-day diving in English football is largely a result of the influx of foreign players into the league: ‘down the years there have been plenty of players diving, and, you have to say, particularly foreign players’.
Jose Mourinho has quelled rumours that he will join Manchester United upon Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement by stating he hopes United will still be manager of United when the Portuguese manager returns to the Pemier League: ‘I think English football will lose a lot when he stops.’ Mourinho still has a four-year deal left to run but insists he remains happy at Real Madrid.
According to the Metro, United are monitoring the progress of 18-year-old Birmingham’s Nathan Redmond who is also being chased by Tottenham. Birmingham believe they can command a £17m fee for the player.
And Milan vice president Adriano Galliani has denied reports from yesterday’s Corrielle dello sport that forward Stephan El Shaarawy will part from the Milan club over the summer. The attacker had been linked with a switch to Old Trafford at the end of last week.
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The club's under-21 side drew 0-0 away at Sunderland last night. United's side included Henriquez, Macheda, Brady, Cole, King, Veseli and Petrucci.
image: © Nasmac