Date:Tuesday October 2 2007
Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown are both doubtful for tonight's Champions League game against AS Roma.
The pair picked up knocks against Birmingham and with Van der Sar, Gary Neville and Mikael Silvestre all being unavailable, their absence would seriously weaken United's rearguard.
'They are both doubts,' Fergie said at his pre-match press conference.
'We'll have to wait on them. Neither trained Monday morning, and you don't really want players missing training the day before games. It will be difficult for us.'
Piqué could deputise for Vidic while O'Shea could replace Brown at right-back. It's worrying of course but Piqué's got the ability, whatever happened against Coventry, he just needs to have a very good partner due to lack of experience. If Ferdinand can maintain total concentration we can survive the absence of Vidic and co.
Owen Hargreaves who hasn't played since the game against Sunderland a month ago could return but normally Fergie wouldn't throw him into the starting line-up.
"Owen trained on Monday with the team. He`s a possibility," the boss added. "I`d like him to have had some more football ahead of what is an important game. European football is a different game of course, in terms of speed and tactics. But we`ll see."
The main point is whether he will be necessary to protect the defence. So it's simple: if Vidic is fit enough to play, Hargreaves will be on the bench, if Vidic fails to make the game, Hargreaves will start to add resilience.
As for the Romans: they have their own concerns, too, apart from being steamrollered 4-1 by Inter on Saturday in Serie A. Simone Perrotta whose childhood dream was to play for United recovered and fit to play though he still feels his thigh but Christian Panucci is injured, his place is likely to be taken by Cicinho and Rodrigo Taddei is definitely out - he missed last season's game, too.
Date:Tuesday October 2 2007
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