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Fergie calls for United focus
23 Apr 2008 - 08:03:33
Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester United not to under-estimate Barcelona ahead of their Champions League semi-final first leg meeting.
The Red Devils are firm favourites to reach the final after being paired with the out-of-form Spanish giants in Wednesday's first leg at the Camp Nou.
But despite Barca trailing rivals Real Madrid by 11 points in their domestic league and missing the likes of Ronaldinho and captain Carles Puyol, Ferguson still believes they will provide formidable opposition.
"I do not see that we should be favourites," he claimed. "It is a very balanced game if you look at the number of quality players on both sides.
"Manchester United and Barcelona must be among the strongest sides in Europe as they have come to this stage of the competition.
"Both clubs deserve to be there and this match would be an attractive final, a fantastic occasion.
"I believe the winners of this game have a great chance in the final."
Meanwhile, Ferguson has confirmed that Wayne Rooney is fully-fit despite picking up a hip injury in the weekend Premier League draw with Blackburn Rovers.
However, there are fitness concerns surrounding defenders Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown.
Brown sat out the training session at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night with a slight injury problem, but Vidic was reportedly taken to hospital in Barcelona with a stomach complaint.