Fergie - Utd ready for final
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists his troops are primed to tackle Barcelona in Saturday's Champions League final.
Last Updated: 24/05/11 9:15pm
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists his troops are primed to tackle Barcelona in Saturday's UEFA Champions League final.
The Red Devils are the underdogs to lift the trophy at Wembley against Pep Guardiola's troops, although Ferguson does not believe Barca being pre-match favourites will make a difference.
Both teams have won their respective domestic titles and the two European titans arrive at Wembley full of confidence in what should be a classic final.
There are fewer more experienced in the game than United's manager and he insists when the game gets underway on Saturday evening whoever are the favourites will count for little.
"There is no advantage," declared Ferguson. "It doesn't matter.
"We don't decide those things. I know my players will be ready."
Ferguson believes concentration could be one of the crucial factors to deciding who is crowned European champions this weekend.
He remembers the two meetings with Barcelona in the 2008 semi-final, when United were able to keep a pair of clean sheets, as the template his side must work towards.
"We showed fantastic concentration in those two ties," said he continued.
"That is the key for us. It is an important issue in terms of Saturday."
Argentina superstar Lionel Messi is sure to be a key figure for Barca on Saturday, although Ferguson is wary of all of Barcelona's attacking threats.
"We have played against Barcelona three times with Messi in the team," he said.
"But there is always a solution to every good player. Hopefully we can find one on Saturday.
"They have other good players though, and so do we. That is why it is such an appealing game.
"I am sure Barcelona are aware of that."
Ferguson rested his key players in Sunday's win over Blackpool and the Scot admits it will be a tough task informing his players which ones will not be involved in the showpiece final.
The likes of Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand are sure to be recalled and Ferguson insists he will be selecting his starters and substitutes for the right reasons.
"It's not easy because you're dealing with the human side of the game," he explained.
"Players have worked ever so hard for the team this season.
"It's been a squad game for us this year. It's can't be easy.
"Unfortunately there's one person who has to tell them and it's me. It's not an easy job, but it has to be done.
"I pick the team for the right reasons and I pick the subs for the right reasons."
Meanwhile, Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs was a notable absentee for training at the club's Carrington complex on Tuesday morning after finding himself at the centre of a media storm.
Giggs was named earlier this week as the married footballer involved in a controversial privacy case.
Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name him as the Premier League player who took out an injunction over his relationship with 28-year-old reality TV star Imogen Thomas.
Giggs was not thought to have an injury but was not present for an open training session ahead of the club's Champions League final.