--%>
Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Vidic return boosts United



Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has been included in the squad for Saturday's Premier League match against Sunderland at Old Trafford, manager Alex Ferguson said.

The Serbian international has played only five matches this season and had knee surgery in September.

The United defence has been unconvincing in Vidic's absence, conceding 23 goals in 16 Premier League matches, and Ferguson told a news conference on Friday that his return was a huge boost.

"It's a big, big win to have him back in the squad - his ability to head the ball, his captaincy. We hope we've given him the proper rehab," Ferguson said.

"We'll give him a chance and we hope he sails through it. I don't know whether he will start tomorrow - he's only played about 10 games in the last 12 months, which is not like Nemanja."

Vidic's return is all the more important because Jonny Evans is unavailable with a hamstring injury he suffered in last weekend's Manchester derby win.

Ferguson said Nani was still unavailable and Shinji Kagawa was back in training.

Sunday's last gasp 3-2 win over Manchesters City handed United a six-point lead at the top of the table, and Ferguson said that took some pressure off his side.

"I'm happy with six points. It's City's challenge to try and catch," he said.

Saturday's opponents last met on the final day of last season at the Stadium of Light, where United thought they had won the Premier League title with their 1-0 victory, until news filtered through of Manchester City's remarkable last-gasp winner.

City's win prompted celebrations from the Sunderland fans, which upset many United players.

"Their fans' reaction on the last day was disappointing," Ferguson said.

"When you think about the players we've given them over the years, including Evans and (Danny) Simpson, who helped them win promotion. I don't think it was malicious from their fans, just foolishness, they were just enjoying the moment."

Sunderland face the daunting trip to Old Trafford missing up to five frontline players, with Adam Johnson, Danny Rose and Phil Bardsley all facing late fitness tests.

Captain Lee Cattermole and former United man Wes Brown are not expected to return to action until next year.

Sunderland were boosted by their 3-0 win over Reading on Tuesday but remain perilously close to the relegation zone with 16 points from as many matches.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



John Dykes
Hero worship from Bollywood to Bayern
A truly hectic travel schedule provided a timely reminder of the way football lights up people’s...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Refereeing cowardice or good player management?
Was this good refereeing or refereeing cowardice? The incident highlighted in the picture again...

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Is this the turning point for Man United?
Before the season started, if anyone told Manchester United’s new boss Louis Van Gaal that at...

Carol Radull
No mystery why Arsenal can't beat United
I am a little delusional. When it comes to Arsenal, I always am. To say that I am a frustrated...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Shankly said it best
These days the words of Bill Shankly seem to be echoing in my ears every weekend. “If you can't...

Neil Tovey
Lost in translation
The May Mahlangu situation highlights the fact that communication in football is vital.