Ferdinand out of Liverpool clash

MANCHESTER - Manchester United's injured defender Rio Ferdinand will miss the Premier League leaders' trip to face traditional rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, said manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

With Nemanja Vidic suspended after being sent off for a second yellow card in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Wes Brown will play alongside the inexperienced Chris Smalling in central defence.

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"[Rio] won't be fit. Wes will take over," Ferguson told the club's televsion channel MUTV. "He has great experience."

The 32-year-old Ferdinand injured his calf in the warm-up before United's 2-1 league defeat by Wovlerhampton Wanderers on February 5 and the England captain has not played since.

United are four points clear of second-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand, while sixth-placed Liverpool are a massive 21 points off the pace, but still harbour ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League.