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MUFC Team News for Stoke City

Evans is back to shore up the defense, while Vida will probably be missed

Stu Forster

Sir Alex Ferguson, in his weekly press conference, gave the welcome news that Jonny Evans was fit to face Stoke City on Sunday, while Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling both have outside chances of making the team. It is expected that at least one of them will make the squad for the always bruising encounter at the Britannia.

"Jonny Evans has trained this week, which is better news than we had building up to Monday's game. Ashley Young is out - he got a sore whack on his ankle and is maybe out for two weeks. Other than that, we're in good shape in terms of player availability."

This means that a trio of fit center halves in Rio Ferdinand, Funny-Face-Phil Jones and Evans will be in the frame to start, with possibly Smalling on the bench.

Ashley Young being injured scuppers United's plans proper is not a huge loss - with Stoke being the physical team that they are, it might be better to play through them with quick combinations rather than hoof the ball into the box. Danny Welbeck, Luis Nani and Shinji Kagawa could all serve this purpose by starting on the left.

The Boss had further news about forgotten man prince Paul Scholes. The creaky-kneed midfielder not named Anderson will get a few games in during the run it, from the looks of things. While hailing the veteran's footballing intelligence, Sir Alex quite funnily proceeded to indicate that he needed a bit of training to understand the team again.

"Paul Scholes will start training with the first-team on Monday. He's done a fair bit in the last week or so and it will be a terrific boost to get his football intelligence back in the squad. He's been out for a few weeks now so he'll need a good bit of training with us.

Okay, not to put too fine a point on it, but it is pretty much a 4-4-1-1 and who are we fooling with that?!!