Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has been ruled out for the first leg of his side's UEFA champions League semi-final tie with Schalke 04. The Bulgarian striker, who is the Barclays Premier League's leading goal-scorer, has been battling a slight groin strain and he did not travel with him teammates to Germany ahead of Tuesday night's match. Despite his impressive goal-scoring rate this season, Berbatov likely would have been benched in favor of the in-form Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez. However, he would certainly have provided manager Sir Alex Ferguson another potent attacking option from the bench.
Schalke have an injury concern as well to an important player. Center-back Benedikt Howedes is now considered doubtful after picking up an abdominal muscle strain this past weekend in a match versus Kaiserslautern. If Howedes is unable to play, expect Joel Matip to deputize at center-back. Here is what manager Raif Rangnick said in regards to Howedes' availability:
"The earliest we will decide on whether he will play or not is after our last training or even on the matchday itself."
Source: the Guardian
Here is our full match preview for the clash with Schalke.