United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed in his pre-match press conference that Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will all be available for Sunday’s game against Newcastle after missing the midweek win over Cluj. In addition, Jonny Evans will be available despite suffering a dead leg in the latter stages of the Tottenham Hotspur and Cluj games. And United’s defensive crisis is set to be alleviated by the return of Chris Smalling who has started training again. Concerning Sunday’s opponents Newcastle, Ferguson warned his players that the team cannot afford another loss following last week’s defeat to Spurs.
Javier Hernandez is hoping for further atonement for last week’s defeat to Tottenham when United take on Newcastle. Hernandez stated that United will have to reclaim the points they lost at home last week on their travels, starting with Sunday’s matchup. And Hernandez openly expressed his excitement in starting the Cluj game with both Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney and underlined his conviction that United have a leading attacking group but acknowledged that Newcastle will likewise have a potent strike partnership in Demba Ba and Pappiss Cisse.
However, speculation continues regarding the future of Chicharito and reports this morning suggest United are hoping for a part-exchange with Real Madrid if they decide to usher out the Mexican striker. United have been previously linked with defenders Raul Albiol, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos but United could instead demand Kaka or Nuri Sahin in such a deal.
Whilst the FA confirmed that Rio Ferdinand had accepted Roy Hodgson’s personal apology, the Mirror claim that Ferdinand believes his non-selection for England has escalated to a personal level with manager Hodgson. Furthermore, it is believed that Ferdinand is unhappy that former teammate Gary Neville implied on Sky Sports that the central defender was unlikely to receive a call-up.
Youngster Scott Wootton has revealed he is revelling in the opportunities he has been afforded due to United’s lack of defensive options. Wootton started in the League Cup win over Newcastle and replaced Jonny Evans in the victory over Cluj and could play a part in Sunday’s game away at Newcastle. Wootton also revealed that he rejected Liverpool in favour of Manchester United when he was a schoolboy.
The first Manchester derby of the season will now take place on Sunday 9 December and will kick off 1.30pm after Sky selected their televised fixtures for the festive period. United’s game away to Swansea on Sunday 23 December will also be televised and is scheduled to kick off at 1.30pm.
And finally, HITC's Nick Harris takes a close look at Manchester United target Stephen El Shawaary and his current important to the AC Milan side after his excellent goal in midweek for the Italians.
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