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27/01/2010 09:04

Papers: Rio to sit out City?

Rio Crisis
Rio Ferdinand is set to miss tonight's Manchester derby after being charged with violent conduct by the FA. The United defender faces a three-game ban for a forearm smash on Hull's Craig Fagan. If Ferdinand appeals by 6pm he can play in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester rivals City. But he would risk having his ban increased if a panel decides the appeal has no grounds. The FA took action after seeing footage of England centre-back Ferdinand, 31, swinging round and catching Fagan in Saturday's 4-0 win over the Tigers at Old Trafford. Ref Steve Bennett missed the incident and, in fact, booked striker Fagan for his protests. Boss Alex Ferguson now has to decide whether to risk an appeal and weigh up whether tonight's game is more important than an extra league game.
Neil Custis, The Sun

Regardless of Ferdinand's involvement this evening, Sir Alex Ferguson has played down suggestions tonight's tie means more to Manchester City. "We've played some great teams over the years here in this sort of situation and we hope that experience helps us," he says. "It doesn't matter whether City have loads of money or none at all. This is a chance to get to a Wembley final, which is all the incentive you need."

The Daily Mail claims Arsenal are scrambling to hijack United's move for Fulham defender Chris Smalling, who is due in Manchester today to undergo a medical before completing a deal and then rejoining the Cottagers on loan for the rest of the season.

The Sun, meanwhile, carries quotes from Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who feels Wayne Rooney is carrying United's hopes of silverware this season. "Without Rooney it would be difficult for United to win the title," says the Italian. "He's a very decisive player for Manchester United."

Round Up By Steve Bartram


Premier League