Leeds v Man Utd preview
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ferdinand's high-profile exclusion from the England squad for last week's Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey, after failing to turn up for a drugs test, has seen the former Leeds centre half dominate the headlines.
He is still awaiting his punishment from The Football Association but remains available for selection for the Premiership champions and is expected to line up against his former club.
The Red Devils make the trek across The Pennines with the chance of moving back to the top of the table and they have won three out of four on the road this season.
Sir Alex Ferguson has no fresh injury worries and must decide whether to shuffle his pack with a crucial Champions League tussle against Rangers on the horizon.
Leeds boss Peter Reid has no injury problems to contend with, as his selection concerns revolve around suspension.
Ian Harte is banned after a sending off in the reserves while Jody Morris has been placed under suspension by the club following allegations of sexual assault. The ex-Chelsea midfielder's enforced absence should present Lamine Sakho with a recall on the left flank, with Seth Johnson moving in-field.
Jermaine Pennant is also due to play his last game for The Whites but is aiming to extend his loan stay from Arsenal until the end of the season.
The much-maligned Brazilian defender Roque Junior is back from a ban, though, and he could be charged with the task of shackling the in-form Ruud van Nistelrooy, who has scored five times in his last two away appearances in the league.
The Whites ended their home hoodoo with victory over Blackburn in their last match and will be anxious for their recovery not to be short-lived, particularly against their fierce rivals.