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Answer To Fergie’s Problem: Who Would You Pick?

Manchester United will be playing in Moscow a week tomorrow in the third European Cup final of the club’s history. After securing a 17th league title on Sunday, our players will be eager to claim their place in the history books by adding a European Cup winner’s medal to their collection.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson has today admitted he is having some difficulty in deciding who should play in the final. With all our players now returned from injury, Fergie has to decide which players should make up his 18-man squad.

“I’m travelling to Moscow with 26 fit players, that’s unheard of in my time,” he said. “But it gives us an incredible chance. It makes it difficult for me. I think picking the team will be easier than picking the substitutes. I’m going to have to leave some fantastic players out of the squad completely next week, which I won’t enjoy doing, but something has to be done.”

Usual back five, Carrick-Hargreaves-Scholes? Carrick-Anderson-Scholes? Hargreaves-Anderson-Scholes? Then, Tevez-Rooney-Ronaldo? Giggs-Rooney-Ronaldo? Nani-Rooney-Ronaldo? Park-Rooney-Ronaldo?

Then who gets to make the bench? Will Hargreaves take Brown’s place a right back, forcing him to the bench? Whilst O’Shea, Fletcher, Nani, Anderson, Saha, Park, Silvestre, Pique, as well as Kuszczak, are likely to be the players fighting it out for a spot. But who deserves it? Will the likes of Fletcher and O’Shea get a place because of their connections with the club, sitting on the bench in the same way P Neville, Greening and Brown did in 1999? Or do the young, new talents of Nani and Anderson deserve to be played on the biggest stage? Louis Saha has barely played all season through injury, does he deserve to be on the bench? Or is it a case of it being common sense to have a striker available to come on, regardless of how little he’s played?

Which players would you like to see starting and on the bench for United against Chelsea?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Reds of Manchester says:

    EVDs and the back 4 has to stay as it. I will play a 4-2-3-1 formation in Moscow. Here’s my pick.

  2. Reds of Manchester says:

    Oh forget to name my bench, it will be PIG, Silvestre, Pique, Giggs, Park, Anderson, Saha. I pick saha cause i think he did quite well everytime he comes back from injury. Each have your view, but Man u is the champion’s league winner come WED! =)

  3. vive' says:

    i would go for 4-4-2

  4. Hugo says:

    ———EVDS —–

    OH – Rio – Vidic – Evra

    —Carrick – - Anderson—
    Ronaldo – Scholes – Rooney
    ———- Tevez ——-

    (Just to be a little different, also think OH is more mobile and a better crosser than Brown)

  5. Hugo says:

    Park – Giggs and Saha and Foster on the bench

  6. EDDIE says:


    I definitely agree with Hugo’s lineup.

  7. Manfredo says:


    Bench: PIG;O’Shea;Pique;Anderson;Carrick;Giggs;Tevez
    I hate to leave out Nani and Park, maybe thats why Fergie has a headache.

  8. ben says:

    Where is nani hes a type of a playr who will make a.cole sweat to death

  9. Steve says:



    Hard working line up to start, Tevez and Anderson to come on if we need some more spark in midfield. And Giggs to break the record when we’re 3 or 4 up :)

  10. Stelios says:





  11. Liad says:

    I would love Fergie to use a 4-4-2 classic style with Tevez and Rooney upfront but I know that he probably wont so here is my 4-5-1 formation:

    Van Der Sar
    Brown Ferdinand Vidic Evra
    Carrick Scholes Hargreaves
    Ronaldo Park

    Scott whats your predicted starting line up?

  12. austin reynolds says:

    brown rio vidic evra
    ronnie hargreaves carrick park

    tough who 2 hoose between jos +df! ;(

  13. quadri ogunsanya says:

    i think i would like to see anderson vs mikel,rooney vs drogba,teves vs anelka. if man utd still want more fans in nigeria down here, i think they need to get the champions league cup.moreover i will be in trouble with my friends who are chelsea fans if chelsea get the cup. please good work guys.

  14. Martin S. says:

    Starting line-up:

    ————– vds —————-
    brown – ferdinand – vidic – evra
    ronaldo – scholes – carrick – park
    ———- rooney – tevez ———-


    Kuszczak, O’Shea, Pique, Hargreaves, Fletcher, Giggs, Saha

    Can’t see Fergie picking Anderson and Nani let us down last time. Fletcher a big game player.

  15. eric the king the king the king says:

    —van der sar—




    he brought hargreaves for europe, no bigger game than the final, also i rekon as ronaldo doesnt really track back, rooney will be on the right, with the reliable park, we already know scholesy will be playing and carrick has been class alongside him

  16. Luke says:

    I think we will end up playing the formation we played against Liverpool (Home)


    Brown Rio Vidic Evra

    Carrick Hargreaves

    Ronaldo Scholes Park/Giggs



    Kuszczak, O’Shea, Silvestre, Fletcher, Anderson, Giggs/Park, Tevez

    Not sure who will start between Park and Giggs. Giggs played in most of the big games at the start of the season, but Park has played almost every game over the last month or so.

  17. Taehr says:

    I would drop Ronaldo for this game for the fact that against good defenders he just doesnt perform and ashley cole has an easy time against him.Ronaldo tends to want to show himself to be the star he is and goes on those pointless runs against 3,4 defenders.It wont happen so what team im hoping sir alex puts out is the normal back five.scholes and hargreaves in front of the back four with anderson in front of them.against chelsea we have to be aggressive and hargreaves and anderson can provide that.ballack,lampard and essien are big strong lads and we need to match their power.Hell if fergie didnt promise scholes a place I would throw fletcher in there.I hope he goes with two strikers rooney and tevez and to give the chelsea backfour hell.rooney isnt much of a threat on his own upfront carvalho and terry need to be tested and finally ronaldo can pop up wherever he likes on the left and right and through the middle. i would prefer the left wing cause cole would sniff him out.How fit is saha,he could be a really could option.How about him playing a blinder in his last game and winning us the european cup?

  18. raisnhell says:

    Anyone remember Ronnie’s last years performance in the FA Cup final? it SUCKED! May be Ronnie should be out of this final.

  19. Mick says:

    I think Fergie will go with the same squad he had at Wigan plus two others from O’Shea,Fletch, Anderson and Nani. Personally i don’t think Saha deserves to be in the squad but i think Fergie will stick him in there in case we need to chase the game.

    Pique and Nev haven’t played enough and with Pique being left our against Barca and Chelsea i can’t see him getting in ahead of Silvestre for a place on the bench.

    I have a feeling Nani and Anderson will be left out. They are young and Fergie might want to test them to see how they react to such a big disappointment. Sheasy and Fletch have been loyal servants and Fergie could reward them with a spot on the bench. Nani might have headbutte himself out the squad anyway.

    My team would be the same one that played against Wigan.

  20. jsh4 says:


    ————-Brown – Rio – Vidic – Evra

    ——-Carrick/Hargreaves ——Scholes—-

    —-Ronaldo ———————————–Park


    I’m unsure as to whether it should be Carrick/Hgreaves. And I was in 2 minds about playing all 3, or having 2 of them plus Anderson.

    But I chose Park instead – he’s been amazing this season, his effort is fantastic.

    Are we even positive on the formation yet? 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-5-1?

    Haven’t even thought about the subs yet, SAF’s got some thinking to do….

  21. jonny says:

    it’s simple really


    Subs: PIG, Anderson, Giggs, O’Shea, Fletcher, Park, tevez

    the reason the normal back four work so well is that if either of rio or vidic gets injured we can bring on an attacking player and move OH to RB with brown taking over for the injured player. this eliminates the need to have silvester AND pique on the bench, and might even eliminate having to to have either of them.

    Now, this only works if OH is on the field, and seeing as Scholes is already guaranteed a spot theres only 1 more CM slot left, and i feel that Carrick will be picked over anderson.

    looking at the benc who dyou want to sub on? Giggs, Anderson, Tevez come to mind, but you have O’Shea and Fletcher to cover all the positions in case something unexpected happens

    and no, i don’t believe saha deserves a spot on the bench if we play 4-5-1, because Tevez becomes our striker on the bench

  22. Jak says:

    I like Luke’s lineup. Park to start. Giggs and Tevez to come off the bench. Tevez to score the winner!

  23. Daniel says:

    yep that’s right, raisnhell, leave the best player in the world out of the biggest game of his career because he had a shit game in the FA Cup Final last year. That will do wonders in our attempts to keep him from joining Real Madrid, Milan etc.
    Ronaldo has scored goals against Arsenal and Liverpool this season, showing that he can show up against the big sides.
    Need I remind you that he is the top goal scorer in this years European Cup?
    After Scholes Ronaldo is the first name on the team sheet and you I can put my house on that.

  24. jimmy Bob says:

    chelsea will pack the midfield id go like for like
    evra rio vidic brown
    park carrcik hargreaves scholes ronaldo

  25. jsh4 says:

    I agree Jimmy. I’d really like to see an attacking United side, but I reckon SAF will go for 4-5-1, to start with at least. In that case the main issue would be the 5 in midfield and the striker – perhaps Park, Carrick, Scholes, Hargreaves & Ronaldo, & Rooney up front.

    Or have a 4-4-3, and subsitute either Hargreaves or Carrick for Tevez, Rooney would play behind him in attacking mid., and Tevez would be put up front.

  26. austin reynolds says:

    taehr- not sure if ive read ur post right?!
    u want scoles and owen in front of the back four, with anderson in front of them(leaving our most in form cm on bench)
    you also want two up front with ronaldo playing both wings?!?!
    interesting to see not many people feel nani is worth a place on the bench. i know he headbutted some dickhead donkey from west ham but i thought he,d been given his punishment for that, or do we bare grudges against our own at this club now?

  27. Albi-TRD says:

    Van der Sar
    Brown Rio Vidic Evra
    Hargreaves Carrick Anderson
    Ronaldo Tevez Rooney

    Bench: Silvestre, Pique, Fletcher, Nani, Giggs, Scholes, Park

    Ensure Hargreaves and Anderson hang back to dominate the midfield, let the forward 3 play wherever and however they want.

    IMO although Scholes is set to start, he’ll be bossed around by chelski’s midfield like he has been countless times. He’s not strong enough or fast enough to compete, and going forward he doesn’t bring anything to the table that only he can.

  28. Mick says:

    We can play 4-5-1 which can easily be changed to 4-4-2 if we play Hargeaves, Scholes and Carrick. Them 3 in the middle with Rooney and Ronni on the wings and Tevez up front. Hargreaves goes to RM and Ronni LM if we switch to 4-4-2. I don’t understand the logic in dropping Tevez. Why do we always want to play more defensive when we play the bigger teams??

  29. mufcjoe says:

    Why bench Tevez? Or Ronaldo, raisnhell? That front 3 is needed if we’re to threaten them:


    Hargreaves right back because Anderson is needed imo, Carricks through balls are vital for unlocking Chelsea and Scholes is certain to play. Hargreaves is a magnificent rightback too.


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