Cleverley and Vidic ruled out of Manchester derby – Kagawa could return to squad
Manchester United have endured a setback just before their trip across town to Manchester City. The Red Devils will be without their young attacking midfielder Tom Cleverley as they prepare for the mega showdown against derby rivals Manchester City.
Club insiders have confirmed that Tom Cleverley might not be in the squad Sir Alex Ferguson announces for the mouthwatering game. Tom Cleverley might recover before the game on Sunday, but Sir Alex Ferguson won’t put his faith in an inexperienced midfielder who has just returned from an injury.
Tom Cleverley picked up a calf injury during Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to CFR Cluj in the Champions League on Wednesday. The young England international was replaced by veteran Paul Schole in the middle of the game.
Manchester United qualified for knockout stage of the Champions League as Group H winners in spite of their defeat to CFR Cluj. However, Tom Cleverley’s injury could cost them dearly. No conclusive reports have yet been presented on whether the 23-year-old midfielder will travel to Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has informed that Tom Cleverley’s injury will be reassessed in the morning. However, the Scotsman wasn’t optimistic about his return to the squad before the Manchester City game.
“We will assess Tom in the morning,” Sir Alex Ferguson said. “He felt his calf a little but it is not good news. We'll see what he's like tomorrow.”
Sir Alex Ferguson has already declared that Manchester United’s first captain and star center back Nemanja Vidic won’t able to make it for the Manchester City derby due to a setback in his recovery.
Nemanja Vidic was expected to return to full fitness against Manchester City, but the Manchester United stalwart is now scheduled to return to action around New Year’s Eve.
The Old Trafford boss believes his summer signing Shinji Kagawa has a good chance of featuring in the Manchester United squad this weekend. The Japanese playmaker has been out of the squad due to a knee injury sustained at the end of October.
“Shinji is now back and is doing some running,” Sir Alex Ferguson informed. “I don't know if he'll make Sunday's game. It might be a bit early for him.
“At least he's back training and he'll hopefully join in the football part next Monday.”
Sir Alex Ferguson believes he will celebrate one of his greatest victories at Manchester United if his side is able to defeat Manchester City at their home on Sunday. In case of a defeat, Manchester City will have the bragging rights of victory and will replace Manchester United as Premier League leaders because of a better goal difference.