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Berbatov to get chance
Published : 27 Sep 2011 09:05:39Rss feed
The Bulgarian has not scored in the competition for three years but injuries to Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez should see last season's joint top scorer in the Premier League given an opportunity to impress in Europe.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's faith in his record signing has been called into question in the past but he insisted Berbatov can still make a significant contribution to the Champions League. He said: "Of course he's got a part to play. He's one of our squad members and they've all got a part to play."
Ferguson added: "There are a lot of games in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup. It's an exhausting season unless you use your squad."
The record books may show the current spell to be United's most successful ever in Europe, but Ferguson insists they cannot look back at the last four years as a golden period for the club - because they were beaten by Barcelona in two of the three finals they reached.
Ferguson said: "The Champions League is the best competition in the world now, better than the World Cup, better than the European Championships, it's a fantastic tournament. But it's not a golden period for us because we have lost two finals, so I don't think it can be called a golden period.
"We have been consistent in the Champions League, our form away from home has been outstanding and we hope we can do better this year and win it, that's the aim of this club all the time."
Ferguson confirmed that Rooney would miss the match with a hamstring injury and said that it was difficult to know when the England striker would be back in action. "He's not playing. It's difficult to assess with hamstrings but we hope we have him back quickly. He did a bit of jogging but that's all," said the United boss.
Ferguson also said that Hernandez's dead leg would keep him out against Basle but that the Mexican should be back for when Norwich visit on Saturday.
Nemanja Vidic is also missing for United - Ferguson hopes he will have recovered from his calf injury by the time the international break is over - while Jonny Evans (ankle) and Chris Smalling (groin) are also out. Antonio Valencia is likely to again be pressed into service as an emergency right-back with Rafael's injury set to keep him out for the long term.