Speaking at the pre match press conference alongside Rafael ahead of SC Braga’s visit to Old Trafford tomorrow, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the latest team news.
Sir Alex said: “I’m not playing Rio. I’m making a few changes. I’m leaving out Rio and Patrice Evra. We have a big game against Chelsea [to think about on Sunday].
“We’ve got Ashley Young back and he’ll be involved tomorrow. We’ve got Nani, Valencia, Giggs… plenty of wide players. I have an issue in terms of picking the team. Hopefully I get it right.”
With Rio Ferdinand being rested, it points towards one of twothings. Either Michael Carrick will play centre back or Scott Wootton is in line to make his full Champions League debut.
Patrice Evra will also be rested ahead of the Chelsea game on Sunday so new boy Alexander Buttner will get his first European start tomorrow evening against Braga.
He said: “Chris Smalling trained this morning with Warren Joyce’s team. He’s trained with them for a couple of days. It’s non-contact for him at the moment. The encouraging thing is that he’s getting closer.
“I expect Phil Jones to start on the football side of things next Monday as well. They’re both two or three weeks away, which is good news. They’re not far away.”
The boss also spoke about the reported bust-up between himself and Rio Ferdinand following his decision not to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt in the warm up against Stoke.
He said: “The issue’s simple. I’ve spoken to Rio. It was a communication issue. He felt I should have spoken to him on Friday and I didn’t anticipate that he’d have a problem wearing the shirt. My advice is to him is that I always feel a union is stronger than an individual. It’s important he airs his greivances to the right people, the FA.
“It’s been a communication issue more than anything else. We’ve resolved the situation, there’s no lingering problems and we move on. That’s the end of the matter.”