Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to call on Rio Ferdinand for the league leaders’ trip to Stoke on Saturday, with the Scot believing the veteran defender’s experience will be valuable at the Britannia Stadium.
Ferdinand has only featured in two of United’s seven games this season because of injury problems, with the England defender missing last weekend’s victory over Chelsea with a calf strain.
But against a Stoke side renowned for their aerial threat and physicality, Ferguson is keen to have Ferdinand back in his starting line-up.
“I’m hoping Rio will be okay for Saturday,” Ferguson told United’s official website. “When you go to Stoke you need a bit of experience. Rio came into the team when we played at Bolton and gave us that experience, so we hope he’ll be fit for Saturday.”
The news on Chris Smalling’s chances of playing was not so positive, however, with Ferguson revealing that the defender is a “doubt” for the visit to the Britannia.
United have won all three of their matches at Stoke since Tony Pulis’ side were promoted to the Premier League, though they have always been made to work hard for their victories, with Javier Hernandez’s late goal securing the three points last time they met.