Skip to main content

Injuries dominate United v Arsenal tie

Manchester United have a lengthy injury list before hosting Arsenal on Saturday, with defender Rio Ferdinand (calf) and winger Nani (leg gash) among the casualties.

Most of the injuries are in midfield with Anderson (knee), Park Ji-sung (hamstring) and Antonio Valencia (ankle) all sidelined.

"A quarter-final tie against Arsenal is always an exciting game, an opportunity to get to the semi-finals so we'll do our best and play our best team available," manager Sir Alex Ferguson told a news conference on Friday.

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford with their own injury problems and something of a goalkeeping crisis after Wojciech Szczesny was ruled out for six weeks with a finger injury, joining Lukasz Fabianski on the treatment table.

Manuel Almunia, who came on as a substitute in the midweek defeat by Barcelona in the Champions League, is likely to start as the club try to sign a keeper as emergency cover.

"We have Wojciech out, in my opinion for six weeks. We have Fabianski out for the rest of the season. We need absolutely some cover in goal," manager Arsene Wenger told Arsenal TV online.

Scottish midfielder Barry Ferguson is a doubt for Birmingham City's clash against visitors Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Ferguson broke a rib in the Blues' League Cup Final win over Arsenal but has resumed training after a pain-killing injection.

"He looked very mobile and got involved in a couple of challenges... he took (an) injection, so he has got a bit of the freeze on his side just now, which is saving him from the pain. We will decide at the last minute if he's okay for Saturday," manager Alex McLeish told the club's website.

Bolton will be without on-loan striker Daniel Sturridge who is cup-tied having already appeared in the competition for Chelsea.

Croatian Ivan Klasnic, who has scored in his last three outings, could replace Sturridge in the starting lineup.

Stoke City midfielder Matthew Etherington has declared himself fully fit to face former club West Ham United, who visit on Sunday, after struggling with a back injury.

"My sharpness is better and now, with a full week of training behind me, hopefully I can be out there all guns blazing on Sunday afternoon and help the club get to Wembley," he told Stoke's website.

West Ham welcome back on-loan forward Robbie Keane from injury while fellow striker Victor Obinna is in contention to start after being on the bench for the Premier League win over fellow strugglers Stoke at Upton Park last weekend.

"It's not a secret the league is more important but also we are coming to every game like we want to win," said manager Avram Grant. "The FA Cup is a good competition even though we know our first priority - as it is for Stoke - is the league."

Reading manager Brian McDermott says his side go into their tie at Manchester City on Sunday f