Papers: Reds sweat on duo
Rooney and Rio in race against time
Sir Alex Ferguson is anxiously waiting to find out if Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney will be fit for Saturday’s must-win Manchester derby at Eastlands. Ferdinand suffered a groin injury in the goalless draw at Blackburn that has left Manchester United playing catch-up in the title race as they prepare to face local rivals City. The new England captain will be assessed on Tuesday after Ferguson gave his players a day off, although Rooney still came in for treatment on his right ankle and some light exercise. If United’s 34-goal top scorer does not recover in time, Ferguson may again have to rely on Dimitar Berbatov, who has come under fire for his performances in Rooney’s absence against Chelsea and Blackburn. Asked if United miss Rooney, Ferguson's assistant Mike Phelan said: "This is Manchester United, with a lot of other quality players in the squad. At times, you are going to miss people. When that happens, other people have to come to the front. They have to show the calibre that brought them to the club in the first place." Chris Wheeler, Daily Mail
Both The Sun and The Mirror claim Sir Alex Ferguson will decide whether to offload Dimitar Berbatov at a summit meeting with his senior staff on Tuesday. In the Daily Express, Mick Dennis says Sir Alex is under pressure to revamp his squad in the summer.
In a bid to stoke the fires ahead of Saturday's derby, many papers carry quotes from Inside United's interview with Rio Ferdinand, and provocatively suggest the Reds defender branded Carlos Tevez "lazy" in training at United.
Carlo Ancelotti's riposte to Sir Alex's assertion that Bolton is an "easy" game for leaders Chelsea is reported by The Guardian. "At this moment of our season, nobody can make us lose our concentration or determination to win the title," the Blues boss says.