Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Antonio Valencia has failed to recover from a hip injury in time to start in the Manchester derby this weekend.
Announced in his press conference this morning and reported by Mark Froggatt of the club’s official website ManUtd.com, Sir Alex informed reporters,
“I know we've got a few injuries at the moment but we've got a big strong squad of players. Nani and Valencia are still out. It will be a few weeks with them.”
With further news that Tom Cleverley is also out of the showcase clash, it is anyone’s guess how Sir Alex will line up his team on Sunday afternoon.
United’s injury troubles continue to hamper any consistent line-up. According to PhysioRoom.com there are now six first-team players on the sidelines; Nani, Nemanja Vidic, Cleverley, Anderson, Valencia and Shinji Kagawa.
It now looks like Paul Scholes will partner Michael Carrick in the heart of midfield, with Darren Fletcher and Ashley Young providing some occasional width. Wayne Rooney is also likely to assist in the centre of the park by dropping deep from forward positions.
The other remaining midfield option for Sir Alex is Phil Jones. He could provide some steel and youthful energy to the middle and could even be assigned to Yaya Toure—City’s midfield general who dominated in the game at the Etihad Stadium last season.