Ferdinand out of Benfica clash

13 September 2011 10:30

Manchester United will be without defender Rio Ferdinand for their opening Champions League game against Benfica in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Ferdinand, who made his first appearance for United in over a month in the 5-0 rout of Bolton on Saturday following an injury layoff, was not among the party that travelled to Lisbon.

It means United will be without their first-choice central defensive pairing as Nemanja Vidic is currently missing with a calf problem.

Although not injured, Ferdinand's fitness has been patchy in recent years and it is believed United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to keep the defender as fresh as possible for Sunday's clash against Chelsea at Old Trafford.

With Ferdinand out, it is likely to mean a move into central defence for Phil Jones, who would be making his debut in the competition.

Source: AFP