Marseille v Man Utd

Giggs and Rio miss Marseille match

February 22, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester United's preparations for their Champions League fixture against Marseille on Wednesday have been hit by the news that Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand both failed to travel with the squad.

Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs will be forced to watch from the sidelines
GettyImagesRio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs will be forced to watch from the sidelines

• Heinze sorry for Fergie feud
• Anderson suffers knee blow

Captain Ferdinand has not played for United since sustaining a calf injury in the warm-up prior to the club's 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on February 5, but the absence of Giggs is as yet unexplained.

Michael Owen (groin) and Jonny Evans (ankle) also failed to board the plane to France, while Anderson fails to make the trip having suffered a knee injury in the FA Cup win over Crawley which could see him sidelined for two months.

However, Brazilian defenders Fabio and Rafael are both included despite suffering injuries against Crawley, while the squad is boosted by the inclusion of youngsters Joshua King and Ryan Tunnicliffe.

In the absence of Ferdinand and Evans, Chris Smalling will partner Nemanja Vidic in defence, while it is reported that Wayne Rooney could move left to fill in for Giggs.

Marseille, meanwhile, have learned that France international Mathieu Valbuena has recovered from a knee injury suffered on January 22 and could play in the last-16, first-leg tie.

"I am operational and at the coach's disposition," Valbuena said. "It's up to him to decide if he selects me or not."

However, fellow international Andre-Pierre Gignac will definitely miss out after straining an adductor muscle.

Full Manchester United squad: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Lindegaard; Vidic, O'Shea, Brown, Rafael, Fabio, Evra, Smalling; Scholes, Gibson, Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Bebe, Obertan, Tunnicliffe; Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, King.