FOOTBALL NEWS

21/01/2012 10:13, Report by Adam Bostock
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Evans ready for Emirates

Jonny Evans is itching for another appearance against Arsenal on Sunday as he eyes a potential run in the Manchester United team.

The Northern Ireland international returned to the side last Saturday and helped the Reds to keep a first clean sheet since Boxing Day - when he had made his previous start.

"I missed a couple of games over the New Year period (Blackburn 2-3, Newcastle 0-3) but I felt good against Bolton. Hopefully I can play again at the weekend," Evans told MUTV.

Evans played alongside Rio Ferdinand in the 3-0 victory over Bolton, and Sir Alex Ferguson favoured the same pairing in the first two games following Nemanja Vidic's serious injury away to Basel in December.

Earlier this week, Vidic said he still "has a long way to go" after knee surgery and declared his hope to "be right for the start of next season.” But while this long absence appears to present the likes of Evans with an opportunity, the Belfast boy would prefer his skipper to be available.

"Obviously Nemanja is going to be out for quite a while with his knee," said Evans. "But you don't wish injuries on anyone and when you play for a club like Manchester United, you have to expect a lot of competition.

"I'd much rather Nemanja was fit and in the squad because there have been times recently when other defenders have been injured as well and people like Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia have had to go back into defence which is not ideal."

Valencia and Carrick were both restored to midfield for United's last away match and to great effect as the Reds beat Manchester City 3-2 in their own backyard. Evans and co are clearly targeting something similar at the Emirates Stadium.

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