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One Eye On Benfica

One Eye On Benfica

Ryan Giggs will be part of Alex Ferguson's squad on Saturday for the first time since the Welshman fractured his cheekbone in the Champions League draw with Lille in October.

With the must-win tussle with Benfica looming on Wednesday, the United boss is desperate to have as many of his experienced players available as possible so, after a nine-match absence, Giggs will definitely find himself involved at some point on Saturday even if it is only from the substitutes' bench.

Three successive Premiership wins has taken United into second spot in the table. A place in the League Cup quarter-finals has also been secured and providing the Red Devils can squeeze into the Champions League knock-out phase next week, the picture will not look quite as bleak as the prophets of doom were claiming barely a month ago.

Ferguson: 'Morale is terrific here. The training sessions have been good. There is a good spirit among the players and I have referred to that time and time again.

'We did have a difficult period when young players were trying to do the job of men but now we have some of the experienced lads back, we have the opportunity to rest some of the younger ones who have been carrying the burden for so long.'

Writer:Cantona
Date:Friday December 2 2005
Time: 6:18PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
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