Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Rio Ferdinand willbe fit for Stoke test

22 September 2011 03:32
[LNB]Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping central defender Rio Ferdinand will be able to play for Manchester United in their match at Stoke on Saturday evening.[LNB]Ferdinand injured a hamstring during the opening game at West Brom and although he returned for the win at Bolton earlier this month, he has then been sidelined for three games with a calf problem.[LNB] United have not missed the 32-year-old too much, establishing a two-point lead at the top of the table whilst also marching into the Carling Cup fourth round with a victory over Ferdinand's former club Leeds on Tuesday.[LNB] Reasons to be cheerful: Ferdinand celebrates a goal from Javier Hernandez in United's win at Bolton earlier this month[LNB]However, as well as the Red Devils have done in Ferdinand's absence, Ferguson believes a visit to the Britannia Stadium is one of those occasions when experience is vital.[LNB]The United boss has already pinpointed Stoke as being one of the top flight's emerging powers despite their four-goal hammering at Sunderland on Sunday.[LNB] Frustration: Ferdinand watches from the bench after coming off injured in United's Premier League opener against West Brom[LNB]And, speaking to Manchester United's official website, Ferguson would like to have Ferdinand back to offer some reassurance to his youthful squad.[LNB]'I'm hoping Rio will be okay for Saturday,' said Ferguson. 'When you go to Stoke you need a bit of experience.[LNB] Every reason to keep smiling: Ferdinand and Ferguson celebrated another title success last season[LNB]'Rio came into the team when we played at Bolton and gave us that experience, so we hope he'll be fit for Saturday.'[LNB]As skipper Nemanja Vidic is also sidelined and Brazilian full-back Rafael is ruled out with a shoulder problem, United do not have a huge amount of options at the back.[LNB] Heading for victory: Javier Hernandez scored twice in United's 2-1 win at Stoke last season[LNB]Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia were pressed into service in a strange-looking back four at Elland Road and they were joined by Dimitar Berbatov once 19-year-old debutant Eziekel Fryers had limped off with cramp.[LNB]And if Ferdinand is available this weekend, in-form Phil Jones would probably switch to full-back as England's Chris Smalling is doubtful with a groin injury.[LNB] Chants of sick Manchester United and Leeds yobs branded disgustingDarling of the Carling: Owen shines in cup but wants to make his mark in Premier LeagueHe's unbelievable: Fergie salutes Owen after United striker sinks Leeds[LNB] [LNB]

Source: Daily_Mail