Phil Jones was unavailable at the past weekend versus Wolverhampton Wanderers due to a bout with the flu. However, the versatile defender/midfielder has seemingly recovered fully and he will be available for selection versus Fulham FC on Monday night. Here is what Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had to say about the player:
"It’s much better now. There was Jones getting that bout of ‘flu but he’s back. Jones was actually back on Friday but we didn’t risk him on Sunday. He’ll be available [for the Fulham game]."
- Ferguson | Source: ManUtd.com
Another important squad player that has been missing of late is Nani. The Portuguese winger was recently injured in training but it appears that he is nearing a return as well. Overall, the injury situation at United is mostly positive with only Anderson and Michael Owen still out for Fulham. Here is what Fergie had to say about the general injury situation of his squad:
"So they’re all training apart from Nani, who should not be far away and might start training this week, while Anderson and Michael Owen are the only other ones out. Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher are obviously still long term."
Fergie should have plenty of choices for the run-in and without the worry of another competition besides the league race, there will be a fight for spots. In Nani's case, Antonio Valencia just returned from his injury at the weekend and he put in an unplayable performance on the right flank. Nani is versatile enough to impact a match from either flank so he can also compete with Ashley Young and Park Ji-sung to be first-choice on the left. Danny Welbeck -- albeit in a different sort of roaming central role -- has also shown well the past few weeks when deployed as a wide attacker. Competition is fierce for spots on the flanks but that is certainly a good problem to have for the intense title race with Manchester City. These players will earn playing time and opportunity from only fine performances.
Jones will likely compete to be first-choice at right-back while also being able to provide cover at center-back and in central-midfield. Rafael has shown fine form as of late and he's probably the main competition for the Englishman.
Against Fulham, either Jones or Rafael will likely be matched up against the in-form Clint Dempsey while Valencia appears likely to feature on the right-flank. Nani could perhaps make the 18 for the night while Ashley Young or Danny Welbeck is probably likely to start on the left flank.