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Mixed news for Fergie

Vidic and Smalling ready to face Schalke, but Berbatov is missing

By Chris Burton.   Last Updated: 26/04/11 6:13am

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Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling will be available for UEFA Champions League duty, but Dimitar Berbatov misses out.

Sir Alex Ferguson opted to rest defensive duo Vidic and Smalling in Saturday's 1-0 Premier League victory over Everton, while Berbatov was not risked as he nursed a slight groin strain.

Vidic and Smalling will come back into contention for Tuesday's crucial European encounter with Schalke, but Berbatov did not check in with the rest of the squad at Manchester airport on Monday and will play no part at the Veltins-Arena.

United are heading to Germany for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final and Ferguson is delighted to be making the journey with a virtually fully-fit squad.

"We are in good shape," he said.

Fresh

"I needed to keep us fresh against Everton, knowing that three days later we would be playing Schalke in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final.

"I had one eye on the trip to Germany and, of course, big games in the league against Arsenal and Chelsea.

"I enjoy this critical stage of a season, when we are involved in big games that come at you thick and fast, with little recovery time in between.

"Team selection comes into its own, and just as the players have to rise to every occasion, so do I as I try to keep the team fresh and raring to go."

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