Ferdinand in race for Basle test
Man United, Updated:
Sir Alex Ferguson will assess the fitness of Rio Ferdinand before naming his Manchester United side for the crucial clash at Basle.
The Red Devils chief has a host of injury problems going into their final Group C clash, in which they need a point to be certain of a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, as Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez and defensive brothers Rafael and Fabio are all unavailable, while Michael Carrick is suspended
Ferdinand did travel to Switzerland, despite being forced off at Aston Villa on Saturday with a knock, and will undergo a late fitness test to see if he can line up alongside skipper Nemanja Vidic in the heart of defence.
Chris Smalling or Phil Jones will deputise for Ferdinand if he is out, while the one who does not play in the centre will be used as a right-back.
Wayne Rooney is set to start in attack and could be partnered by the fit-again Danny Welbeck if Ferguson opts to play a two-man forward line.
Meanwhile, Ferguson is confident that the experience his United players have gained from playing in so many big matches will stand them in good stead for the game.
"The pressure won't affect us. Look at the number of big games these players play in," he said. "Every year for the last few years they have been involved in finals and semi-finals and quarter-finals and big games in the Premier League."
Ferguson added: "It is another big game, but we have a strong squad and that squad will see us through without question."