United handed triple boost

Ferdinand, Scholes and Evra set to tackle Gunners

Ferdinand: Fitness boost

Ferdinand: Fitness boost

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Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Patrice Evra will be fit to tackle Arsenal at Old Trafford on Monday.

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The Manchester United manager had been sweating over the fitness of the trio as they prepare to tackle the Gunners.

England captain Ferdinand limped out of the 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw with Valencia on Tuesday night in the early stages of the second half with a tight hamstring.

Ferguson admitted after the match that his withdrawal had been precautionary and it now appears the centre-back will be fit to partner Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the defence.

Massive game

Veteran midfielder Scholes was expected to miss out against Arsene Wenger's men as he has been struggling with the groin injury he suffered against Rangers a fortnight ago.

But the talented former England international has made good progress in recent days and could take his place in the squad on Monday evening.

Experienced France left-back Evra missed the Valencia game in midweek but is expected to replace Fabio in Ferguson's backline.

Ferguson said: "We're quite confident that everyone will be fit and it's good to have everyone available for such a massive game.

"Paul Scholes started training yesterday. It was just light stuff but hopefully he will be available for Monday and Rio should be fit as well."

Virus

United are looking to maintain a five-match unbeaten run against the Gunners and leap back to the Premier League summit.

Defensive duo Jonny Evans and Wes Brown had also been struggling with a virus but they are also in contention.

"Jonny and Wes have had a bit of a virus that has been going around the place," added Ferguson.

"We should have a full squad for Monday."

Ferguson also confirmed Michael Owen's training programme was going well, although the former England striker will not be considered to face Arsenal.