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PICTURES: O’Shea and Evans In Italy

God only knows which players Sir Alex Ferguson will pick at the back for today’s massive game against Inter Milan. As it stands, Fabio da Silva, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are our only confirmed fit defenders for this evening, with Gary Neville, Wes Brown and Rafael da Silva all ruled out through injury, Nemanja Vidic missing through suspension, whilst John O’Shea and Jonny Evans are question marks.

Training yesterday shows that O’Shea was at least involved on some level, whilst Evans was left to sit it out.

Will we see left-back Fabio given his Champions League debut at right-back? Maybe play Evra in the centre alongside Rio with JoS at right-back and Fabio at left back? Maybe shift Fletcher to right back and leave Fabio on the bench? None of those combinations fill me with confidence, given we’re facing the talent of Ibrahimovic, who has already scored 17 goals this season!

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. ManchesterMonkey says:

    At least we got the best man for the job to pick such a crucial decision
    In sir alex i trust

  2. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    twins on the side rio and evra in the middle

    evra has done it very well before

  3. berba says:

    How can u control Ibra and Adriano like this??????

  4. dk says:

    i’m am sure that evra will be played at rightback, cause he did it before again roma when we destroyed them 7-1. it will be evra at right, rio and john centre, left is for fabio.

  5. haha says:

    Looks like Evans has been sent to sit on the naughty chair in those pics.

  6. frodoisdead says:

    i would go for fletcher rio o’shea evra
    fletch will work his arse off no matter where he plays and if we put park in front of him the we have two guys who are going to bust a gut helping out at both ends of the field.
    o’shea in the centre would be a big boost imo. he has the experience to cope in these sort of conditions.
    i’m confident we will find the net tonight. i’m thinking 1-1, but even losing 2-1 would be a solid result.

  7. Clay says:

    I think it will be Rio and O’S in the middle, Evra on the left as we need him for his creativity and Fabio on the right. He said before he is ok with playing on the right….he just plays on the left because of Rafael!

  8. dk says:

    evans looks upset looking at his mates training

  9. King Eric says:

    In my opinion got to be OShea in middle with Rio. He has coped there before and Evra is far too small physically to deal with their big lads up front. Back four Fabio, O’Shea, Rio and Evra. Makes you wonder if Evans will be fit though. SAF wouldn’t have taken him to Italy if not a good chance he would make the game.

  10. cherry says:

    I still think Evans could make the squad. However, if he does not shake off the injury I would like to see Fabio given a chance.

    Evra Park

    Oshea Rooney
    Scholes Berbatov

    With this team I believe we can beat Inter. I am goin for one nil to us and Rooney the goal scorer.

  11. Clay says:

    come on united!!! there is a bit of tension because of these injuries but i think we will shut up these cheaters and their not so special one!!!

  12. bossdem says:

    i wouldnt like to see evra up against ibra or adriano to be honest. and fabio would surely play rb ahead of evra whos all left foot. both da silvas play with both feet better than most players ive ever seen. only the boss will know if fabio is up to be thrown in at the deepend. in saf i trust!

  13. costas says:

    I as afraid about defending against Ibra and Adriano when we only had Vida out.Imagine my fears now.As someone said,if anyone can get it right,SAF can.Let’s hope that Evans pulls a miracle.If he can’t it will be Fletch,Rio,OShea,Evra(he is no use as a centre half with these tall strikers)-Ronaldo,Carrick,Scholes,Giggs,Park-Rooney.

  14. AlphaRS says:

    I know we should never underestimate any opposition Manchester United face but Inter Milan finished 2nd in a group through 2 wins, 2 draws, and 2 defeats.

    In this group was Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen, and Anorthosis Famagusta.

    If Inter Milan were as good as we are led to believe they would have won every single game in their group!

  15. TinManUnited says:

    Judging by the photos, it doesn’t seem like O’shea has any concern on his face, so you would think that he has nothing to mull over. He should be in the back line, probably in the middle with Rio.

    Fabio Rio O’shea Evra

    Park Scholes Carrick Ronaldo



    I might get a few laughs, but if we are in dire straits as far as defense are concerned, Rooney is probably the best defense minded outside of the back line that we have. Its an option anyways, I texted Fergie with that. lol

  16. Axeman says:

    Evra in the centre wouldnt make sense as he isnt’ the tallest and would have to deal with Ibrahimovich and Adriano, both of whom are physical players. Also we would need his pace and creativity on the wings for the counters.
    One of Evans or O’Shea needs to be available to play in the centre. I think Fabio should be able to deputise at Right back or else we can play Fletcher there. Though I would prefer Fletcher to be available for midfield duties. We need that bite in the centre for an away European tie

  17. Mic says:

    Seeing as Fabio is right footed i’d play him on the right, Evra on the left and get some centre backs playing too!

  18. Red Rooney says:

    have faith but it will be hard. if united leave san siro happy, we may have won the champions league already.

  19. costas says:

    Another thing i have noticed is that Fletcher has not featured in the last 2 games and to the best of my knowledge,this season he has been very good.With other workhorses like Anderson and Hargreaves missing,i think it’s imperative that he plays tonight.Even if Evans doesn’t make it,i think we should play Fabio on the right instead of wasting Fletcher there.Besides,Inter play without wingers,so the real battle will ba at the center of the park.If we can block them there with Carric,Fletcher and Giggs(or Scholes) then we can keep Ibra and Adriano away from out fragile defence.

  20. sirryangiggs says:

    “o’shea in the centre would be a big boost imo. he has the experience to cope in these sort of conditions.”

    haha would never have expected this some years back. fletcher and oshea really matured over the years…

  21. haha says:

    I think we’re strong enough up front to score against anybody, so I’m confident of the away goal. The Italian game isn’t the super power it used to be, so our poor record againt Italian opposition doesn’t worry me as much as it might have in previous times. Smash and grab 2-0, Berbatov double (providing he starts)

  22. Tre says:

    Put Fletcher at right back, o’shea and rio in the middle, evra on the left. Hargreaves would be massive in this situation.

  23. james f says:

    Ok, let’s say that we won’t be able to contain them. How about attacking them, then? With a front line like ours, they won’t be able to stop us!

  24. furrball says:

    tre said’s got it absolutely spot on in my opinion and yes loads of tracking back from rooney would definitely help!

  25. furrball says:

    oops i meant tre

  26. suhayl says:

    Fuckin always happens to us…..when we get injuries…they all bloody happen and clean us out in the same place. Eg AC milan san siro 2 years ago…where we went absolute decimated by defensive injuries. And back at the san siro its happended again. The facts are like then..we are going in many competitions, games every 2-3 days unlike the dippers. Who were trying to take the mick when we got beat and they made the final. What they didnt realise was..they were resting players 5 months in advance…cos as usual they were out of 3 competitions by xmas.

    Too many games/competitions takes its toll..and in recent times its happening to us with too much frequency…i mean to lose 6 potential defenders..fuck sake

    Ibrahimovich and Adriano love holding the ball up , physically intimidatng and love high balls. With Vida, Wesley or Nevo we’d deal with that no probs. Now i do not know..and not worrying or getting too nervous…now definately has me cacking my pants at this defensive chaos we have.

    Someone pointed out rightly….we are missing 2 extremely gritty versatile warriors too. Who would be perfect to fill holes in this situation…ANDY AND HARGO.

    OH WELL……We are going to concede…i have no doubting that..maybe tonight, attack will be the best form of defence.

  27. Neejil says:

    If both O’Shea and Evans dont make it for tonight I wouldnt be adverse to seeing the team line up like this
    Fabio Rio Evra

    Fletch Carrick
    Ronnie Scholes Park/Giggs

    Rooney Berba

    A little unorthodox but with Fletch and Carrick providing cover for the defense it leaves the rest of the midfield to worry about setting up our attacks. Its true we’d be more open to conceding but it would give us more of a chance to score. It just might work….but hopefully JoS is back anyway.

  28. debrabs says:

    my ten pence worth is…. with the squad we have available…..

    Evra, o’Shea (or evans if fit) Rio, Fabio (or o’Shea if evans is fit)
    Park, Carrick, Fletcher, Ronaldo
    Rooney, Berbatov

    I think it’s a game where we need park and Fletcher working their arses off and protecting our weakened back four. The whole side needs to play together just as we did in those 14 games without conceeding……


  29. 619 says:

    I was thinking about this, the press really have made a meal of this whole injury crisis. SAF plays it up to. However, to me this is a very acute problem. After today there will be no more crisis. As I understand it Neville is pencilled in to play on the weekend. Evans I think is expected to be fit for the weekend too.

    There is NO DOUBT in my mind that O’Shea will be fit to play. I heard a commentator say last night that he has never seen O’Shea play in a big game where he has not put in a good shift. That warmed my heart. Ultimately, I don’t remember seeing Evra play any game on the right where I was impressed. I do trust his defensive abilities be them on the right or left. I just think on the right his attacking ability is stunted.

    Thus, with a sure central pairing of Rio and O’Shea I think that we will be alright whether the backs are Evra and Fabio or Evra and Fletcher. Or maybe Evans is fit to play and then I would be totally confident.

    I really wonder what everyone would be saying if we had a fit back line? Something to the effect of a 0-0 draw I bet. Anyways, I really don’t think that things are as bad as they seem. Only time will tell.

  30. costas says:

    Guys,i was just sleeping and i dreamt that O’Shea and Evans were both fit.Say it will be so!Although i can’t remember the last time SAF used a player that didn’t train the previous day.We should also not forget that if United survive tonight then they set the record for longest unbeaten run in the Ch.League.Our last defeat was at the same ground we are playing tonight.And on more thing.In the last years United have played 12 knock out Ch.League ties.You know how many times Rio and Vida have played together in these?4 games and 30 minutes.Those four games were the easiest of the bunch(Lille and Lyon) and the 30 minutes were the ones that Vida lasted in against Roma last year.So basicaly we have 8 games against Roma(4 of them),Milan and Barca in which we have played without our 2 best defender.Tonight will be the ninth one.If that’s not a curse i don’t know what is.Not to mention all the other defender injuries that conveniently creep up at the same time.

  31. Saad says:

    Tre dont freshen old wounds… Hargo wud have been a perfect fit in at right back but we dont have him so lets forget about it…. Bdw i think Fabio would be better suited than Fletch

  32. Myq says:

    i dont think it would be wise 4 saf to slot either carrick,rooney or fletcher. it would mess the entire mf. my back 4 would b evra, rio, da silva, oshea or eckesley-sic spelling. mf-carrick, fletcher, giggs with the supernormal forwards. with that we should b able to hv a thin space btw the mf n defence when under attack n counter when we have possesion. its hard to trust the reserve lads bt they got huge talent and it wont force us to mess the team. saf is the best 4 the job ie win

  33. azza 89 says:

    im worried ~:(

  34. Red-Manc says:

    Vidic is the perfect defender to handle inter, gutted he will have to miss out for such a stupid reason.COME ON UNITED!!

  35. costas says:

    Not to mention Red-Manc that this one match ban is unjustified given Kaladze’s situation.

  36. Stephen says:

    It is over two legs boys, we will smash them to pieces at OT regardless of what happens tonight, when we will have fundamentally a full squad.

  37. RedDevil says:

    as stated before Fabio is right footed, and he stated previously that he learned to lay as a left back for his brothers sake, so he should be able to p[lay at the RB position comfortably.
    O’Shea looks fine so that seems good, but even Evra can cope at CB if required he has a fantastic leap and is fantastic at defending, although would be missed on the flank.
    Fletcher has played at rightback before on a few occasions and is another option as he has the will to make it his position during a game like this.

    All in all we have some very versatile players that can mix things up so we should be ok.

  38. abbie loves jonny evans!! says:

    no one dis JONNY EVANS hes my favourite player ever and hes sooooooooo good!!!!!!! and awww i dont like 2 see him upset awwww bless him !!! im soooo obsessed with jonny evans!!! my nick name is abs EVANS wow i would die if i ever meet him omg !!!!!!!

    love you jonny evans 4 ever!!!!!!


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