Date: 19th October 2007 at 1:42pm
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United will be without Louis Saha, Owen Hargreaves and Gary Neville at Aston Villa but Sir Alex bring back Nemanja Vidic and John O’Shea.

Saha’s neverending story with knee (and other) injuries continues: he must sit out tomorrow’s game as the one he picked up before the Wigan game is still troubling him. Meanwhile, Owen Hargreaves is doing his training programme but is not fit enough to play against Villa. He might make the Boro game but more likely that he will be in contention for the trip to Emirates.

Skipper Gary Neville’s problems are well-documented but if we believe Sir Alex, they are exaggerated, too. Red Nev hasn’t played since March but took part in some training matches and his absence from the United v Liverpool reserve game wasn’t a setback, just a precaution.

‘Gary Neville is doing very well in training,’ the boss said. ‘We’ve already had a few practice matches and we’re trying to organise something for Wednesday to bring him on a bit again.

He’s getting closer and there was no set-back, we just felt it was too early.’


I’m now not sure that Gary will ever return but still hope for it. There are no such concerns, fortunately, in the case of Nemanja Vidic: the Serbian, celebrating his 26th birthday on Sunday, is almost certain to be available against Villa.

Darren Fletcher started Scotland’s throughly forgettable game in Georgia and is fit enough to play against Aston Villa which is quite good considering that Carrick and Hargreaves are both out.

Though Tomasz Kuszczak performed admirably in Edwin’s absence, I can’t help but feel elated at the news of the keeper’s likely return. John O’Shea played against Cyprus in midweek and is fit to feature against Villa. No news about Wes Brown so I expect him to take the right-back spot ahead of Pique who’s got a strong case after his performance against Wigan.