Ferguson expects Rio boost

Sir Alex Ferguson is optimistic Rio Ferdinand will be fit for Manchester United's top-of-the-table showdown with Arsenal.

Ferdinand provided United with an injury scare when he picked up a hamstring problem during Tuesday's UEFA Champions League draw with Valencia.

The centre-half was replaced by Chris Smalling in the early stages of the second half and Ferguson says the substitution was a precaution to ensure Ferdinand's injury did not worsen.

The United boss did not want to gamble with the England captain's fitness and feels Ferdinand should be available for next Monday's Premier League clash with leaders Arsenal at Old Trafford.

"Rio has a tight hamstring," said Ferguson.

"He felt it at half-time. He wanted to try it but it still felt tight.

"We weren't prepared to take a chance. There was no point because we had Chris Smalling to come on.

"He has six days and I am sure he will be okay for Monday."

However, veteran midfielder Paul Scholes is unlikely to be fit to face the Gunners as he continues to struggle with the groin injury he suffered against Rangers a fortnight ago.

Ferguson added: "Paul tried training on Sunday and he came off, so I think it'll be difficult for him for Monday."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 8 December 2010