Berbatov out of Basel clash

Utd have striker shortage ahead of final Champions League group tie

Dimitar Berbatov: Striker has been ruled out of Manchester United's trip to Basel due to an ankle injury

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Dimitar Berbatov will miss Manchester United's crucial UEFA Champions League tie against Basel after failing to recover from an ankle injury.

The Bulgarian striker picked up the problem in last week's Carling Cup defeat by Crystal Palace and sat out the weekend's Premier League win at Aston Villa.

Sir Alex Ferguson was hoping Berbatov would be available to face Basel, but last season's leading scorer was not in the 22-man squad which has travelled to Switzerland.

Javier Hernandez is also absent due to the ankle injury sustained in the early stages against Villa and that leaves Ferguson with a striker shortage, as Michael Owen is also sidelined.

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The United boss can only count on Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, who has made just one substitute appearance since suffering a muscular problem on England duty last month, in addition to Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf, who have made minimal contributions so far this season.

Rooney is due to face a UEFA appeal hearing in Nyon on Thursday in an attempt to reduce the three-match ban that threatens to rule him out of the entire Euro 2012 group phase.

Michael Carrick misses the game through suspension, while Brazilian twins Fabio and Rafael are injured, along with Tom Cleverley.

United need a point in Basel to secure progress to the last 16 after being held to a shock 3-3 draw at home by the Swiss side earlier in the group phase.

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