Sir Alex Ferguson has today revealed that Chris Smalling will play alongside Nemanja Vidic in this weekend’s derby.

Rio Ferdinand was injured in the warm up ahead of the Wolves defeat at the weekend so Jonny Evans filled in for him. The manager revealed after the game he would have preferred to start with Smalling, a more natural replacement for Rio, but he hadn’t been involved in the warm up because he hadn’t been named on the bench.

Following Evans’ generally poor form, particularly when dealing with challenges in the air, many United fans will be relieved to hear Smalling is starting, despite his inexperience.

“Rio Ferdinand is out for a couple of weeks with a calf problem and Jonny Evans got injured training with Northern Ireland, so Chris Smalling will play,” said Ferguson. “I’m sure young Chris will do well.”