Fergie weighs up options as injuries mount at Old Trafford
Alex Ferguson could be without nine first-team players for Manchester United's trip to Aston Villa tomorrow because of injury, illness and suspension.
With Paul Scholes suspended for the Villa Park clash after receiving his fifth booking of the season against Manchester City, manager Ferguson will assess the fitness of defenders Patrice Evra and Rafael da Silva today -- the pair sustained injuries at Eastlands.
Rafael is rated as 50/50 to overcome a dead leg, while Ferguson is hopeful that Evra can overcome an ankle injury.
Wayne Rooney, who has spent the past week in the US undergoing a period of intensive training, is due to fly back to England prior to the game, but will not be considered because of the draining effects of the 12-hour flight.
Rooney is joined on the sidelines by long-term absentees Owen Hargreaves, Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia, with Ryan Giggs (hamstring) and Anderson (virus) doubtful for the encounter.
The United injury list is likely to ensure another start for Michael Carrick, who has broken back into the first team in recent weeks. Carrick, who played in the 0-0 draw at Eastlands, insists that United can extend their unbeaten start to the season at Villa Park.
"We take a lot of confidence into that game after the City game, knowing how well we are playing. We are happy with the way things are going," he said.
"We are still unbeaten after a long run of games and we are defending well, so hopefully we can to go Villa and come away with three points and move on.
"This season we have been ahead in games and let it slip, which is not like us and that is frustrating. There are an awful lot of points that we have let slip that our performances haven't really deserved, but we believe we will become stronger as the season goes on." (© Daily Telegraph, London)