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Ferdinand’s return may not be such good news for Manchester United

| 02.11.2011

Rio Ferdinand has been confirmed as a definite starter for Manchester United against Otelui Galati and although the England defender certainly has a point to prove, his inclusion makes 13/8 a fine price in the Champions League odds that both teams score at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson has told Ferdinand that he needs to adapt his defensive style having seen his consistency dip this season and this has been put down to a loss of acceleration.

The 33-year-old has made eight appearances for Manchester United this season and in these fixtures the Red Devils have managed just two clean sheets and conceded 15 times.

Ferdinand was even dropped for the Premier League trip to Everton after getting a large portion of the blame for the poor defending in the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Without the England international, Manchester United ironically did shut out the opposition in a 1-0 win over Everton.

But with Nemanja Vidic banned for the Champions League clash, Ferdinand gets an almost immediate chance to prove his credentials and respond to his critics.

However, it is who Ferdinand is partnered with that may have the biggest bearing on if they can stop Otelui scoring.

Ferdinand has played alongside Jonny Evans three times this season and one of these was in the Old Trafford humiliation in the Manchester derby.

With Evans also sent off in this game he may be particularly nervous, knowing that any more mistakes could see him fall out of contention for a defensive spot in the Manchester United pecking order.

If it is this duo, then 11/2 may even be worth considering that Otelui score either two or three goals at Old Trafford, which is something that Basle have already accomplished in Group C.

The other option is to pick Phil Jones alongside Ferdinand, although he may be employed at right-back to cover for the injured Chris Smalling.

But Manchester United have not kept a clean sheet in either of the two games so far this season when Jones and Ferdinand were the starting central defensive partnership.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.