By Chris Wright
Manchester United have confirmed that they will be without five of their first(ish)-stringers ahead of their Champions League second round tie with Marseille tomorrow evening, after announcing that Ryan Giggs, Anderson, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Jonny Evans will not travel to the south of France with the rest of the squad.
Anderson has been ruled out for two months after knackering his medial ligament in the FA Cup on Saturday, with Evans suffering from an ankle problem, Giggs and Owen both nursing groin strains and Ferdinand still struggling with the calf injury that has kept him out since February 5th.
Chris Smalling is expected to deputise for Ferdinand once again which, given that he’s arguably playing better than his more senior counterpart this season, should slot in without too much cause for concern.
As a result of the pull-outs, Sir Alex has drafted two untried teenagers into his 22-man squad – namely midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe and striker Joshua King after both youngsters impressed for the reserves.
Sadly for United fans, both Bebe and Gabriel Obertan have also been included in the final draft, despite both wingers contributing the square sum of a flaccid ‘sweet Fanny Adams’ against Crawley.