Will either one of these two be fit enough to feature at Anfield?
Not much was revealed in regards to the injury situation for the Manchester United squad during manager Sir Alex Ferguson's weekly press conference on Friday. Fergie isn't typically forthcoming anyway when commenting on the availability of his squad but his comments today were especially brief:
"I can’t give you much of an update on injuries. Hopefully we'll have two or three training this morning and we'll be better by tomorrow. It is not the best situation for us."
At the current moment, it is believed that up to 12 players may potentially be unavailable for United's visit to Anfield tomorrow for their FA Cup clash versus Liverpool FC. Darren Fletcher and captain Nemanja Vidic are already confirmed to be out for the remainder of the current season due to illness and injury, respectively. In addition, the likes of Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, and Michael Owen are all believed to out as well as they continue to recover from their injuries. Furthermore, during United's 2-1 away victory over Arsenal last weekend, Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney, Nani, and Michael Carrick all picked up knocks -- their availability for Anfield is uncertain. Rio Ferdinand's availability is uncertain as well after he missed the Arsenal tie due to his recurring back injury.
Of the "two or three" that Fergie is hoping for that could come through in training today, Ando, Young, Cleverley, Carrick, and Ferdinand appear to the most likeliest candidates. Ando, Young, and Cleverley are all though to be nearing full recovery while Carrick's hamstring knock isn't though to be too severe -- the midfielder was able to finish the match at the Emirates after sustaining the knock. Ferdinand's back situation is simply an unpredictable one as he's recently been both a surprise inclusion or exclusion on matchdays.
Fergie was much more revealing in sharing his thoughts on Liverpool, United's rivalry with their North West neighbors, and on this particular match:
"I always think home draws make you favourite. But it's a massive game for both clubs. There's a tremendous profile on it. There will be interest throughout the country. As Steven Gerrard said yesterday, there is a responsibility on the players to behave properly. That is what I expect my players to do, and also the fans. Both sets of fans have got to make sure we are talking about the game and nothing else. It can be that way because there are a lot of good players on the pitch. It is a big game and at the end of the day we want to talk about a game of football. You just have to concentrate on the game. We have to try and play our game – that helps. Both sets of players have to be aware of that. I'm confident there won't be problems. It's a big FA Cup tie – there's no doubt about it. In my time there haven't been many cup ties between the clubs. It's one to look forward to and I think the players will follow that."