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Ferguson reliant on veteran more than ever at Manchester United

| 16.09.2010

The pressure will be on Ryan Giggs to continue to produce the goods for Manchester United this season after it was confirmed that Antonio Valencia faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

A Manchester United club statement said that the Ecuadorian will be out for a “good portion of the season” after dislocating and fracturing his left ankle in the goalless Champions League draw at home to Rangers.

Valencia has undergone a successful operation, but the injury will put added pressure on the other wingers in the squad if the club are to mount serious challenges in not only the Champions League, but also domestically.

Manchester United’s surprise draw against Rangers has seen them drift to 8/1 to win the Champions League, as Sir Alex Ferguson also has to contend with the off-field problems involving Wayne Rooney, alongside injuries to Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves in midfield.

Nani has long been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford and his talent is slowly beginning to blossom as he becomes more of a regular in the first team.

United will need a big season from him in terms of goals and assists if they are to win the Premier League at odds of 11/4.

Ji Sung Park is another wide option, but is more recognised for his tireless work rate than his creativity, while Gabriel Obertan has yet to display the kind of consistency that was hoped for when he arrived from Bordeaux.

This means that Sir Alex Ferguson will again be relying on Giggs to pull some strings in the United midfield and get through a fair share of games despite being 36 years old.

Giggs was utilised as a substitute against Rangers, which means he is sure to feature in their next Premier League game at home to Liverpool .

United are 8/11 to beat Liverpool. See the whole Manchester United vs Liverpool match betting market.



Ed Needham