Ferguson expects Rooney will be fit for Benfica clash

Ferguson expects striker to be fit for Benfica clash

Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful that Wayne Rooney will be fit to feature for Manchester United in their UEFA Champions League clash with Benfica.

The England striker missed training on Monday morning, raising fears that he could be absent for Tuesday’s night’s key Group C clash at Old Trafford.

United go into the game locked together on eight points with their Portuguese opponents, knowing that victory would put them in pole position to progress to the knockout phase as group winners.

And Ferguson revealed that his star forward was only held out of the squad session on Monday as a precaution after taking ‘a few knocks’ in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Swansea in the Premier League.


Defender Chris Smalling (foot) has been ruled out of the Benfica clash, but Jonny Evans should be available despite some concern over his hamstring, while striker Danny Welbeck (muscle strain) remains doubtful.

Ferguson told a press conference shown on Sky Sports News: “Wayne Rooney got a few knocks and missed training today, but he should be OK for tomorrow.

“We’ve got one or two knocks from Saturday. Jonny Evans got a little tightness in his hamstring yesterday, but hopefully will be OK for tomorrow.

“Chris Smalling trained today but won’t be available for tomorrow, but he should be OK for Saturday.”

Big game

The Scot believes that the situation at the top of Group C means both United and their opponents will be going all out for victory on Tuesday night, with their first meeting back in September ending in a 1-1 draw.

Ferguson added: “It’s a big game. It’s a game which we recognise is a real European game in the history of Benfica and ourselves.

“I thought we did really well in the first game, possession-wise it was good. I thought we deserved the result.

“It’s a really interesting game for both teams. Both will want to win so it should be an open match and hopefully we will get the result we want.”