Sport Soccer

Friday 23 February 2018

Manchester United’s Jonny Evans and Danny Wellback not fit to face Swansea in vital title

MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed injured stars Jonny Evans and Danny Welbeck will not face Swansea on Sunday as his side bid to overcome the disappointment of losing top spot in the Barclays Premier League table to rivals Manchester City.

Evans missed the 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in a game which saw Welbeck suffer an ankle injury which led to him wearing a protective cast after the game.

Ferguson will have to do without both Evans and Welbeck for the game at Old Trafford as his side look to take the title initiative back after Vincent Kompany's goal gave City the advantage, albeit on goal difference.

Ferguson said on Evans: "He has improved a little bit but (will) not (be fit) for Sunday."

On Welbeck he added: "He is out. He got injured on Monday. Hopefully he will be ready for the Sunderland game."

Ferguson insisted his players had to deal with the setback against City and do their best to take maximum points from the final two games.

"We have to get over the disappointment of Monday. It was a blow to us. It has put us on the back foot. We can only do what we can do."

Ferguson rejected Roberto Mancini's theory United remain favourites to retain their title.

And he certainly does not agree the Red Devils are facing "easy" games against Swansea and Sunderland.

"I don't think we have easy games," he said.

"If you go to Sunderland on the last game of the season, with the support they have and the manager they have got, you don't expect an easy game and the way Swansea has played this season has been admirable.

"City have got two games left. If they win their two games they win the league."

Nevertheless, by beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Newcastle proved their well-being last night and hope springs eternal at United that the Magpies can avoid defeat to Manchester City on Sunday in a game that will finish half an hour before United kick off against Brendan Rodgers' men.

"They have got to win at Newcastle. That is the challenge for them," said Ferguson.

"Newcastle is a very difficult place and they are playing well.

"As everyone knows, winning at Chelsea is very difficult. We have not done it for eight years. Their form is good and it will be a difficult game.

"We will be aware of what is going on because everyone will be watching it, hoping it works for us.

"You can't avoid it but whether I pay a lot of attention to it I don't know because we still have to prepare for our own game. We are not going to be neglecting that part."

That game at the Sports Direct Arena is set to prove pivotal because, eight goals behind at the start of the weekend, Ferguson does not think it is possible to overhaul City's goal difference advantage.

"Say they win three-nil on Sunday, the goal difference would be 11 and they still have QPR at home," said Ferguson.

"That would be impossible. I don't think the goal difference applies."

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