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Ferguson forced to shuffle pack

Published: Monday 9 August 2004, 13.00CET
A combination of factors will deprive Manchester United FC of several players for this week's qualifier. features

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Published: Monday 9 August 2004, 13.00CET

Ferguson forced to shuffle pack

A combination of factors will deprive Manchester United FC of several players for this week's qualifier.
Several players will be missing when the first legs of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round are played this Tuesday and Wednesday.

Saha and Brown treatment
The 1999 European champions, Manchester United FC, have been particularly unfortunate ahead of Wednesday's trip to Romania to face FC Dinamo Bucuresti. Striker Louis Saha and defender Wes Brown need treatment on knee and achilles injuries respectively and are not expected to travel.

More missing
Meanwhile, injuries, suspension and the Olympic Games football tournament have also deprived United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of Ruud van Nistelrooij, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Gabriel Heinze, Liam Miller, Rio Ferdinand, Kléberson and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ferguson relief
Ferguson was therefore relieved to come through Sunday's FA Community Shield encounter against Arsenal FC with no further casualties. "It was just a bonus that we didn't pick up any more injuries to be honest," he said.

Dinamo duo out
Dinamo themselves have two players suspended - goalkeeper Cristian Munteanu, who was sent off for handball against Slovakian title-holders MŠK Žilina in the second qualifying round, and Ionut Badea who will miss both legs.

Nedved still recovering
Juventus FC defender Jonathan Zebina will also be banned for both matches against Sweden's Djurgårdens IF. Another absentee for the Italian side is midfield player Pavel Nedved, who has still not recovered from a knee injury sustained in the Czech Republic's UEFA EURO 2004™ semi-final. A similar problem sidelines winger Mauro Camoranesi for this week's game, while Paolo Montero and Igor Tudor are rated doubtful.

Azzurri absent
Serie A's other third-round entrants, FC Internazionale, will face FC Basel without forward Christian Vieri and defender Fabio Cannavaro, who both started pre-season training late due to knocks sustained at EURO 2004™. Striker Obafemi Martins has a knee injury which rules him out of both legs, while Adriano's participation is uncertain after he flew back to Brazil due to the death of his father.

Other suspensions
Elsewhere, suspensions mean that RC Deportivo La Coruña defender Nourredine Naybet and Liverpool FC midfield player Igor Bišcan will be unavailable for this week's action against Shelbourne FC and Grazer AK respectively.

Last updated: 09/08/04 18.47CET

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