Some papers were claiming this morning that Rio Ferdinand spent pretty much the entire plane journey to Spain on his feet, for fear of aggravating his back injury.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson is happy with his fitness and looks ready to play him tonight against Valencia.

“Rio is much fitter now,” said Ferguson. “He has had plenty of training, a couple of reserve games and matches against Rangers and Scunthorpe. He was out for five months so he still probably needs another game or so. That’s why I didn’t risk him on Sunday against Bolton. I felt that would be a physical challenge so we decided to stick with Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans, who have done very well for us. I have no complaints about their performance levels. But the important thing is he is coming back and we look forward to having him back.”

RoM will be running a live blog for tonight’s game against Valencia.