Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed ahead of Sunday's derby with Manchester City that all of his players are fit and available for selection. He specifically commented on the availability of Rio Ferdinand -- who was left behind for the midweek UEFA Champions League clash in Bucharest with Otelul Galati:
"We left Rio behind because we didn’t feel we’d use him. Everyone is fit and obviously the City game is an exciting prospect."
Fergie further revealed his thoughts on City and the challenge that they present to United:
"I think City are doing fantastically well. If they hadn’t thrown away a two-goal lead at Fulham they’d have a 100 per cent record. It could be quite a game on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it. You can only judge it at the end of the reason, in terms of the bearing [this game could have] on the title race. Whichever team wins, it will make a difference. But it’s still early doors and we can recover from that, no doubt about that. We've had to accept challenges time and time again. This is another situation and we have to do something about it. It's the type of challenge we have accepted well over the years. You don't want to be behind clubs but we were for a couple of years with Chelsea. We showed vigor and determination and decision-making, which put us back in front of them."
Fergie on United's recent derbies with City:
"The 0-0 at City was a damp squib and nothing happened in that match, but it's not normal for these games. Usually, they're full of incident and we've had two or three quite exceptional games against City, particularly in the cup ties. Sometimes derbies are disappointing. Last Saturday against Liverpool, for an hour-and-a-quarter, nothing happened, but once a goal was scored it was a great game. Goals change the complexion of a match and you can get a reaction when a team goes behind. It could happen on Sunday, but who knows?"
Although Tom Cleverley's recovery from his ankle injury is going well, it was hinted by Fergie this week that his fitness and sharpness would be in doubt for such an important tie. Thus, his availability for Sunday may still be in question. Futhermore, a paper is reporting that Ryan Giggs may have a hamstring injury that could sideline him for a few weeks. However, Fergie made no mention of this during his press-conference just now. It is unlikely that the United boss would reveal much prior to this match but for now, it may be best to just adjust assume each player is available for the derby.