Arsenal v Man Utd  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Uefa Champions League, Semi-final second leg
Venue: Emirates Stadium Date: Tuesday, 5 May Kick-off: 1945 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website. Live on ITV1

Manchester United received a boost ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Arsenal on Tuesday when Rio Ferdinand returned to training.

The centre-back was taken off in the 1-0 first-leg win with a rib injury but scans revealed no serious damage and he is expected to play at the Emirates.

Arsenal have leading scorer Robin van Persie back after a groin problem, but Mikael Silvestre (groin) is a doubt.

Andrey Arshavin is cup-tied and Eduardo and Gael Clichy are both injured.

Boss Arsene Wenger is delighted Van Persie will be available for the Gunners' biggest game of the season.

"You want everybody in a game like that to be available," said the Frenchman. "He gives me an opportunity to make a decision about our selection."

Meanwhile Ferdinand, 30, is set to play after missing the 2-0 victory away at Middlesbrough on Saturday.


Always United

The England international coughed up blood in United's dressing room following the accidental clash with Edwin van der Sar in the latter stages of the second half against Arsenal last Wednesday, spending the night in hospital as a precaution.

However, scans revealed no extensive damage had been caused in the collision, increasing his chances of taking his place alongside Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the defence.

United have injury concerns over Patrice Evra, who was replaced by Rafael in the 78th minute against Middlesbrough after sustaining a leg injury.

Although United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the left-back should be fit for the crucial second leg, he has a number of options available should the Frenchman fail a fitness test.

First-leg goalscorer John O'Shea could move to left-back, with Rafael or Gary Neville taking his place at right-back.

Jonny Evans, who replaced Ferdinand late on against Arsenal, is another alternative.

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