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Ferdinand in frame for Bolton clash
Published : 25 Sep 2010 14:36:46
Rio Ferdinand is set to be the only addition to the Manchester United side that beat Liverpool and the only survivor from the roller-coaster midweek Carling Cup victory when Sir Alex Ferguson picks his team for Bolton. The England defender was set for a start against the Merseysiders last Sunday. He had returned against Rangers in the Champions League following his pre-World Cup knee ligament injury and was in line to face Fernando Torres at Old Trafford. However, a sickness bug ko'd the 31-year-old and Sir Alex kept the Nemanja Vidic-Jonny Evans axis that had been in place for all United's Premier League matches this term. But a well-again Ferdinand added to his game-time with a 90-minute outing at Scunthorpe on Wednesday night in United's 5-2 Carling Cup success. It's likely he'll be the only player who appeared at Glanford Park who'll line up again at the Reebok. It will spell disappointment for Evans, who'll have to make way and be the only player from the 3-2 Liverpool win not to survive. It will be the first time Vidic and Ferdinand have teamed up again as the first choice central defensive partnership since the final match of last season in May against Stoke City. It would be a much-needed platform for the Reds at Bolton having shipped five goals in their last two away league matches at Fulham and Everton as well as two last Sunday against Liverpool. Fergie will almost certainly look to the veteran inspirations of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes in midfield while the pair are still fresh after their summer rests. Wayne Rooney was rested for United's last visit to the Reebok in March ahead of their Champions League visit to Bayern Munich. The Reds won 4-0 without him and Dimitar Berbatov scored twice, though he missed out in Germany. But both are set to spearhead United's attack although Michael Owen reminded Fergie he is still a force to be reckoned with by grabbing a second-half brace on Wednesday. And he is hoping to play some part against Bolton, the start of a big week that also includes a Champions League trip to Valencia. It does give me a problem, said Fergie. I have known it was going to be a problem since the start of the season, that is why I let Danny Welbeck go to Sunderland and Mame Biram Diouf out on loan. The form of Dimitar Berbatov has meant that other players have taken a back seat, which is unfortunate for them because they are good players. Indeed, Fergie is adamant Berbatov's form should be receiving greater recognition. Meanwhile, Fergie has denied that he called Fernando Torres a cheat after the Liverpool game. I thought Berba would get the headlines, but papers were full of me saying Torres was a cheat, which was ridiculous, he said. I thought he made the most of a foul. That's not saying the guy's a cheat. What do you think? Have your say.