Ferguson not side-tracked by derby date

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Manchester United are likely to field their big guns for Tuesday's Champions League encounter away to Romania's Otelul Galati despite a weekend derby with Manchester City looming.

When manager Sir Alex Ferguson cast his eye over the fixture list he probably expected to be in a position to hold back a few key players against the Champions League debutants but things have not gone to plan.

Draws against Benfica and at home to FC Basel have left United in third spot in Group C and Tuesday's game has suddenly taken priority over the meeting with Premier League leaders City on Sunday.

"Tomorrow and then Sunday are two important games," Ferguson, who will almost certainly recall Wayne Rooney after he was left on the bench against Liverpool on Saturday, told a news conference in Bucharest.

"I think we have to win tomorrow and I'll play a strong team. I could play several teams tomorrow and I'd consider them strong enough to win.

"We have to progress in the Champions League but we have four or five days to recover for Sunday's game against Manchester City.

"The timescales for recovery are perfect for us. Fitness-wise we shouldn't have any problems. I don't think the team I pick tomorrow will have much bearing on Sunday.

"The important thing is for us to win. That solves all the problems."

United will also have their captain Nemanja Vidic available after the Serbian defender's recovery from a calf injury that has sidelined him since the opening day of the season.

He should replace Rio Ferdinand who will be rested.

"Rio played very well on Saturday but we have Vidic with us here and I felt it was a good opportunity to give Rio a break. Playing three games in seven days is a lot to ask," Ferguson said."

Rooney was left out of the starting line-up against Liverpool after a difficult week in which he was hit with a three-match ban by UEFA for his red card in England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.

"I think Wayne's ready," the Reds boss said. "When he came on [against Liverpool] I thought he was bubbly, full of energy and enthusiasm. He was desperate to get on, which was good."

Galati are without a point in the group after one-goal defeats by Basel and Benfica but Ferguson is expecting the hosts to be testing opponents.

"In the Benfica game there wasn't a lot between the teams and Galati were unlucky not to get a draw," he said.