United tune up for Barcelona against Blackpool

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will field a weakened team against Blackpool on Sunday.United have already claimed the Premier League title ahead of this weekend’s curtain closer and want to concentrate on next Saturday night’s Champions League final.

That will provide some hope for Blackpool, who desperately need a result to have a chance of staying in the top flight.

“Well obviously this game on Sunday is not the kind of game you actually enjoy – when someone is bottom of the league. And it is not the easiest game for me to pick a team for,” Ferguson said on Friday.

“Obviously everyone would expect us to leave players out and that will be the case; we will have to think about next week. It is juggling the selections around because we have Gary Neville’s testimonial match on Tuesday. That is important because his service to the club deserves a good representation from Manchester United.”

There were concerns that players would be tired after Sunday’s match and Neville’s testimonial game against Juventus on Tuesday.

But Ferguson said some old faces would return to the United side in midweek to put less strain on the squad.

“Gary has been a fantastic servant to us and he will get the credit he deserves. But the one thing that helps us with Tuesday is that David Beckham is coming back and Nicky Butt and Phil Neville will join in,” he said.

“It will be a fantastic occasion to get those players back together because there is no question that there is a magnificent spirit in the place when those guys play together.”

“I have got to make sure we get the right mix and keep it light on injuries for the Champions League final against Barcelona. The most important thing is on Sunday we will do our fairest to make sure that there is no criticism of the club.”

After being rested last weekend, goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is set to start his final Premier League match before retiring at the end of the season.

And Ferguson confirmed that defender Patrice Evra, midfielders Paul Scholes, Anderson and Darren Fletcher and forward Dimitar Berbatov are all set to start.

Defenders John O’Shea (leg), Rafael (knee) and midfielder Owen Hargreaves (shoulder) will miss out.

 


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