Defensive boost as Jonny Evans passed fit to play Newcastle United

by Sam Peoples

 “We have more or less same squad as the other night, plus Giggs, Scholes and Carrick. Michael had a bug. Jonny Evans is okay – he had a dead leg that he picked up on Saturday against Tottenham and we just took him off towards the end.” Sir Alex Ferguson

Speaking at the pre-match conference this morning, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Jonny Evans will be fit to play Newcastle United this weekend after recovering from a dead leg.

With Newcastle’s aerial prowess in Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, having Jonny fit is a huge boost. As much as Scott Wootton impressed me in his two performances, this trip away to St James’ Park would of been too much too soon for him to start I feel.

However, even with Jonny Evans back, it is likely to be a tough game but hopefully it will be a better result than the 3-0 drumming last season.

As well as Evans, the trio of Giggs, Scholes and Carrick are fit for Sunday’s game so we have a very strong looking squad.

Here are the rest of the main points that Sir Alex discussed this morning including positive news that Chris Smalling has indeed returned to training.

On Newcastle: “It’s always a difficult place to go to. I think Alan Pardew has got a really good team there. After the game against Tottenham, we have to make sure we don’t lose.”

On attacking options: “As I’ve said before, we have strength in our attacking options. I put Shinji on the bench [v Cluj]. We played really good football at times – it was interesting to play Rooney, Chicharito and van Persie together. It gives me some thoughts and options for certain games. Hopefully I’ll pick the right team.”

On other injuries: “The only one who has chance of coming back is Smalling. He has started training on the football side and that helps us particularly as we have problem at centre-back. Jones is still out, Young will start training while the internationals are on, particularly in the second week, and could at a stretch be back for the Stoke game.”

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Afzal J Khan 10/05/2012 - 17:13

John Tring, I think you are being too hard on Evans. I was one of his worst critics two seasons ago but except for his terrible cock-up in Everton’s 3rd goal at OT last season I think he was superb on many occasions. If you have not noticed, he played on the right side of defense last season and he has been reverted to the left side again this season. This could explain his under par performance so far. Having said that, it would not be a bad idea to field S. Wooton instead as he is at ease on the left and had a good game against the same Newcastle only 10 days ago. My biggest worry for Sunday’s match is Giggs and Carrick in midfield. I do not mention Scholes because he has more than carried his weight when selected. In Tiote, Cabaye and Ben Harfa Newcastle has a very mobile and aggressive midfield and it would be suicidal to play our oldies. I would be tempted to play both Fletcher and Anderson to nip the contribution of Cabaye and Ben Harfa in the bud, thus cutting the supply line to Demba Ba and P Cisse. As for the remaining four spots I would definitely play RVP, Rooney, Kagawa and the final place going to either Cleverley or Scholes. Rafael and Evra would be called to contribute quite a bit to make up for the lack of traditional wingers.

John Tring 10/05/2012 - 15:44

Oh my God…Evans fit? I, like millions others, thought he’s a real threat. To Man Utd that is. The worst “defender” Utd ever had the bad luck of having. Doesn’t SAF see these last 2 years or so see anything anymore? Evans, Evra, Rafael are the resons why Utd won NOTHING last season. Sadly, this may actually continue. Don’t want to see anyone unwell but Evans not playing is a boon. Period.

Ak 10/05/2012 - 15:07

I hope he play wootton also not forcing evans in that match and he play anderson and cleavsly with kagawa scholes should come in second half.


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