Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson held his pre-match press conference for Sunderland today rather than on the usual day of Friday. Perhaps the biggest piece of news is that midfielder Anderson appears doubtful for Saturday's match after picking up a knock last night versus Otelul Galati. The Brazilian midfielder -- who quite honestly played poorly in that match -- was subbed off late in the 2nd half. Captain Nemanja Vidic sat out last night due to suspension but he is expected to return versus Sunderland. Here is what Fergie had to say about Ando and Vida:
"Vidic will be back but maybe Anderson is the one player who picked up an injury last night. We'll see what he's like. He could be doubtful."
The United boss provided this update on Michael Owen. The striker was subbed off early in yesterday's match after picking up an injury during the Reds' opening goal versus Galati:
"Michael injured his thigh when he made the run across the front post for the first goal. It's a killer for him. He started the season well, he's been training terrifically. His two performances in the League Cup have been great. He made the goal last night, no doubt about that. I hope he's not out for too long. We've assessed him this morning, he's had a scan but we don't have any results from that yet."
Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, and Tom Cleverley were all unavailable versus Otelul Galati and each will be unavailable again on Saturday according to Fergie:
"Young, Smalling and Cleverley are all out of Saturday's game with Sunderland."
Fergie on United's recent connection with Sunderland:
"Our association with Sunderland over the years has been interesting. Two of our former players have even become managers - Roy Keane and Steve Bruce. Now we have Wes Brown and John O'Shea coming back and they'll be made welcome. They were instrumental in our success over the years and I love both of them in terms of their attitude to play and their loyalty to their club. I just hope it's not too good a day for them!- "Steve [Bruce] has been under a bit of pressure but these days you only need to lose two games and you're under pressure. He'll get through this though. I'm sure he'll be okay."
Fergie was also asked about how Sunday will be 25 years for him at the club:
"You never think it will happen. It's been like a fairytale."
The injuries in central midfield have piled up. With Ando being doubtful, and with Cleverley and Ryan Giggs being out, Fergie is limited right now for his central midfield selection choices. Michael Carrick has been dealing with a knock this week but he appears to be available for Saturday. Darren Fletcher was not available against Galati but his status for Sunderland is uncertain. It is certainly possible that Wayne Rooney could drop into the central midfield again on Saturday just as he did on Wednesday night. Ji-Sung Park is a possibility as well. Youngster Paul Pogba is a possibility to make the bench.