Speaking at the pre match press conference ahead of Stoke City’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the latest team news.
Sir Alex said: “Everyone came back from the internationals fit, which is a bonus.
“There is always a time when you’re a bit concerned but we’ve been lucky this time. Also Ashley Young is fit and gives us another option.
“Young has shown his qualities. Very few players can cross as well as he can and his goalscoring ratio is very good for us.
“Chris Smalling is not quite there but is making progress.”
The return of Ashley Young to fitness gives United another winger option and with Nani’s terrible start to the season, it is very welcomed.
Due to Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick all playing in Poland on Wednesday, it is unlikely that all three will feature which would indicate a move back to the traditional 4-4-2 and away from the ‘diamond’ formation we have adopted in the past two games.
Behind Valencia, Young is probably our best winger even if he has split the fans down the middle. He does have a fantastic goalscoring and assist record in the past four years of the Premier League and if he can hold his fitness, I’m sure he will continue his consistent return.
It is a shame that Chris Smalling is not quite match fit yet because with Jonny Evans playing a taxing 90 minutes away to Portugal midweek, we could of done with the choice of Smalling.
The added height of Smalling, if fit, may have seen him come in at right back over Rafael. Whilst I think Rafael has been one of our best players this season, his obvious aerial weakness was exposed away at Southampton and could prove dangerous against Stoke this Saturday.
That leaves only Smalling and Jones as our only two absentees from a squad that is getting stronger by the week.