Ferdinand set to miss Manchester derby after FA violent conduct charge

27 January 2010 09:28
Manchester United are prepared to sacrifice Rio Ferdinand for Wednesday's potentially explosive Carling Cup semi-final second leg with Manchester City after he was charged with violent conduct by the FA.

Ferdinand has until 6pm on Wednesday  to answer the charge following a clash with Hull City striker Craig Fagan on Saturday in the England defender's first game back after a three-month absence.

FA charge: United defender Rio Ferdinand

If, as seems likely, Ferdinand admits the charge, he will be given an automatic three-game ban and miss tonight's clash with City at Old Trafford as well as the Premier League matches against Arsenal and Portsmouth.

His absence in tonight's Manchester derby could mean a recall forGary Neville and a potential confrontation with Carlos Tevez just daysafter their bust-up in City's 2-1 first-leg victory.

If Ferdinand contests the charge, however, he will face adisciplinary commission tomorrow and could be hit with a four-gamesuspension were he to be found guilty and the panel decide he hasattempted to abuse the process.

The loss of Ferdinand so soon after his return to action would be amajor blow to United as they attempt to beat their local rivals to aplace at Wembley, and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is said to befurious at the FA's timing.

Neville's presence would stoke up the excitement around the gamebut there are fears it could boil over into violence between the fans.

Fiery relationship: Gary Neville could line up against Carlos Tevez at Old Trafford

With City taking 9,000 to Old Trafford, Greater Manchester Policewill launch the same scale of operation they did for the visit of LeedsUnited in the FA Cup earlier this month. Police have joined the FA inurging both clubs to show restraint but United boss Sir Alex Fergusoninsisted he had no concerns over his own players.

He said: 'Their behaviour has always been perfect, they play withinthe rules of the game. We've never had any issues with big games. Lookat the record.'

City boss Roberto Mancini confirmed he has spoken to his team over their conduct but had not singled out Tevez.

He said: 'They (Tevez and Neville) played together for two years andI don't think there is a problem with Carlos and other players.'

 Sir Alex Ferguson insists this will be even better than Europe! Manchester United boss squares up to City menaceWill Manchester United's Wayne Rooney or City's Carlos Tevez pave way to Wembley? JAMIE REDKNAPP: My three key areas that will decide Manchester derbyWe don't want Rooney. Englishmen can't play abroad, snipes Real chiefMANCHESTER UNITED FC

Source: Daily_Mail