Rio Ferdinand has been dropped for Manchester United’s Champions League trip to Shakhtar Donetsk, the
Ferdinand was widely criticised following United’s defeat at home to West Brom on Saturday, the newspaper adds, and despite his status as one of the club’s longest-serving players and appearing in seven out of eight games so far this season, was left out of the squad to travel to Ukraine. Ferdinand was also judged to be at fault in the Manchester derby, when Manchester City beat the champions 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Moyes confirmed he had not planned to take Ferdinand for the match even before the former England international pulled up with a slight groin problem, and the Telegraph notes that a desire to limit the workload of the 34-year-old was a factor, but equally as decisive was Moyes’ intention to refresh the United squad and place his faith in the likes of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling, one of whom will partner Nemanja Vidic on Wednesday.
“I have left one or two behind,” Moyes said. “Rio is not with?us, Anderson is not with us and Fabio and Wilf Zaha are also not with us. I was never bringing Rio anyway, but he has a slight groin injury, nothing serious.”
Vidic returns to the XI after missing the loss to West Brom, while Patrice Evra, who likewise didn’t play against the Baggies, is also expected to start, and Robin van Persie will return from injury.
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