United depleted for Villa trip

Scholes & Rafael out for Villa trip, Evra a major doubt

Scholes: Suspended

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could be without three key players for Saturday's trip to Aston Villa.

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Midfield kingpin Paul Scholes definitely misses the Villa Park encounter after collecting his fifth booking of the season in Wednesday's goalless draw with Manchester City.

Brazilian defender Rafael is also ruled out after sustaining a dead leg at Eastlands, while Patrice Evra is a major doubt with an ankle problem which forced him off late on against City.

"Rafael is a dead leg," revealed Ferguson. "He will miss Saturday, of course, but it is not so bad.

"Patrice has an ankle injury, which we will assess (on Thursday)."

Ferguson felt United did well to put out such a strong side against City after a virus swept through Old Trafford.

Medication

The United boss revealed Scholes was on medication for two days before taking on City, while Fletcher only returned to training on Wednesday morning after shaking off an ankle injury.

"We have done well to get a good team on the pitch," said Ferguson.

"The big problems for us were Scholes and (Darren) Fletcher.

"Scholes has been on medication for the last two days. He has not trained. Darren only trained this morning. It was an ankle injury but fortunately he was okay."

Who will be happier with a draw in the Manchester derby?

  • City
  • United