Premier League

Fergie - Evra switch possible

French star may play centre-back as United defensive problems continue

Defensive problems for Ferguson

Patrice Evra: Could help Manchester United's defensive crisis by playing centre-half against Fulham

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Patrice Evra may be handed an unfamiliar centre-back role by Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United's defensive headache continues ahead of their Premier League home game against Fulham.

Ferguson was forced to pair midfielder Michael Carrick with skipper Nemanja Vidic in the Red Devils' opening weekend 1-0 defeat by Everton at Goodison Park on Monday.

United's backline has been left severely depleted with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans all sidelined through injury.

But Ferguson signed Dutch left-back Alexander Buttner, 23, from Vitesse Arnhem this week, which could allow Evra to move inside to partner Vidic against the Cottagers on Saturday.

"Alex will be involved tomorrow because he gives that back-up," said Ferguson. "Evra could actually play centre-back. He has done in the past.

"But I don't think Alex will start tomorrow, I think he'll be on the bench."