Ferdinand left out but Vidić in line for Man Utd return

Manchester United centre-half does not travel to Romania but Nemanja Vidić is included in squad

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
rio ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand has not travelled to Romania Photo: The Sport Review

rio ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has been left out of the Manchester United squad that travelled to Romania to face Otelul Galati in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The United centre-half, who played the full 90 minutes at Anfield on Saturday, is understood to have been rested by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferdinand’s defensive partner Nemanja Vidić has been included in the squad after shaking off a calf problem, but Tom Cleverley (foot) and Rafael (shoulder) are both out.

Ferguson, whose side are third in Group C, admits he was forced to do some research into United’s Romanian opponents following the Champions League group stage draw.

“I had no idea where they were from,” said the United boss of the Romanian champions. “I don’t know if they’ve changed their name like a lot of European teams but I’d never heard of them.

“Whether Galati were called something else before, I don’t know. But we have watched videos and we know enough about them now.

“The most important thing is I believe they’ve changed the pitch. It looks OK and is proper standard now. Howard Webb was referee for the France game there recently and reported it as not being suitable so they replaced it.”

United squandered a two-goal lead in their second Group C game to draw 3-3 with FC Basel at Old Trafford but Ferguson believes his side have learnt from their mistakes in that match.

“I think we got complacent after going 2-0 up so early on and didn’t pay enough attention to defending,” he continued. “But we rescued it, which was important.

“Maybe it was the best thing that could happen as we got a wake-up call but still salvaged something. We need to win both games [against Galati] and hopefully we’ll do that.

“And we’ll hope for one of two things from the other teams – either they both draw or one wins both games. We don’t want them to win a game each as the group would then be very tight.

“It’s still in our hands and we’re capable of winning the matches. We have to win these two games as we’ve only got two points while Benfica and Basel are on four.”

Pre-match facts: Otelul Galati v Manchester United

• Ryan Giggs has set up two goals so far, the joint highest total in the Champions League this term.

• Wayne Rooney scored hat-tricks in consecutive league games, against Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers and became the first player to score nine goals in the opening five games of the season in the Premier League era.

• Seven of the 11 league goals Otelul Galati have conceded this season have come in the last half-hour of games.

• No Otelul Galati players were on international duty last week.

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