Date: 27th November 2007 at 9:36am
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Sir Alex won’t rest too many of his first-team stars tonight as he wants to beat Sporting to be able to play the reserves at Roma, four days before the Premier League clash at Anfield.

Sporting come to Old Trafford facing almost certain elimination from the Champions League and they are on the back of a disappoiting league form which saw them take one point from their last two games.

They are especially poor away from home and United are very strong at Old Trafford even with a host of first-team stars missing (as it has been the case throughout this season so far) so it should be a comfortable home win.

That would mean United secure top spot in the group and will be able to rest the first team players at Roma on December 12, four days before taking on Liverpool at Anfield.

‘The Liverpool game is one thing we have looked at,’ Ferguson is quoted as saying on Setanta.

‘We know Sporting Lisbon need to get a result tomorrow as well which is why I am not playing too many younger players.

‘It indicates our desire to make sure we win to give us the opportunity to play the way we want to against Roma.’


However, it is not yet certain who will start. Press reports suggested Fletcher, Simpson, Nani and Ronaldo will all be in the starting eleven while Fergie admitted that his headache comes from problems in the strikers’s department.

‘Players like Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea need some minutes on the clock but my biggest concern is what to do up front,’ he told Manchester United radio.

‘Louis Saha played a full game on Saturday, his first full 90 minutes since last December. That was a big test for him. It was an awful lot to ask of him but we’re delighted he got through the game.’

Tevez, as we know, has travelled round the world last week, something that clearly told on his performance at Bolton. However, Fergie is still pretty confident we will win, especially that Sporting, if they want to clutch at their faint hopes of getting through, will have to win and therefore can’t afford to park the bus at Old Trafford.