Both players were forced off in United’s victory over Everton last Sunday and could leave manager Alex Ferguson without much choice at the back when it comes to Wednesday’s line up at Santiago Bernabeu.
Both injuries only served to increase the Scottish manager’s anger after he publicly complained about the fact that United would face the Champions League match with one day less rest than opponent Real Madrid.
“It’s ridiculous to think that we play on Sunday and Real Madrid play on Saturday with that extra day’s rest. We’re not giving our teams a chance to be successful in Europe. Leagues in other countries make sacrifices for their teams,” Ferguson said.
In the event of both players missing out the key match, United’s back four against Real could be see Rafael and Evra on the flanks, with Smalling or Ferdinand pairing Vidic in the centre-back position.
If Ferguson had the idea of using Phil Jones as a defensive midfielder, it seems natural to think Michael Carrick would act as a stopper against Los Blancos. Carrick was the man who came on for Jones after the 20-year-old took a knock to his calf at the beginning of the second half against Everton.