Dimitar Berbatov has returned to training after a hamstring injury but Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is still to decide how to use him in Sunday's derby clash with Manchester City.
The Red Devils' record £30.75million signing has missed the last two games after reporting back from international duty with a minor problem picked up against Serbia.
He was able to join his team-mates for the latter part of the training session on Thursday morning, putting him in contention to face Mark Hughes' side at Eastlands.


Cristiano Ronaldo was the centre of attention as Manchester United
confirmed their place in the next stage of the Champions League. For
the second successive match, the Portugal winger had to endure some
stiff challenges.

United looked the more assured of the two sides throughout the game
but it took them until the 41st minute before they made a real impact.
Villarreal were then reduced to 10 men four minutes later when
Capdevila was sent off for a high challenge on Ronaldo has he tried to
race down field. Despite being a man up, United had little time to
make their advantage pay. However a draw confirmed both teams place in
the next stage.


Patrice Evra admits Manchester United's players feel a responsibility
to retain the UEFA Champions League trophy they won last season. No
side has ever won the European Cup back-to-back since the Champions
League's inauguration and Evra is eager to make history this season
following last term's glorious night in Moscow.

The Frenchman concedes that retaining the trophy is more difficult
than winning it, but feels United have as good a chance of any this
season. United need a point from their game on Tuesday night in
Villarreal to secure progression to the competition's last 16.


Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he would be interested in
re-signing former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi. The Red
Devils sold the Italian in 2007 for £6.6million but the Premier League
champions insisted a buy-back clause be inserted into the player's

Last week, the Old Trafford boss also mentioned about the possibility
of recalling Frazier Campbell from White Hart Lane in January transfer
window. The young striker is currently on a loan spell with Tottenham
since the signing of Dimitar Berbatov who moved to the opposite


Manchester United failed to capitalise on stumbles by their title
rivals after being held to a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa. Despite
controlling the tempo of the game for long periods, the champions were
unable to extend their long winning sequence at Villa Park.

Wayne Rooney had United's best chance of the match in the second half,
but he lashed wildly over the bar from close range after being played
in by an astute pass by Michael Carrick. Martin O'Neill's side ended
their 14-match losing sequence against the Red Devils but the visitors
could have cut the deficit on the pacesetters to six points after the
leading two were both held earlier in the day.


England travelled to the German capital ravaged by injuries and
surrounded by debate regarding the importance of Wednesday's friendly,
but Capello's side produced a thoroughly convincing display to secure
a fifth successive win.

A late John Terry header ensured England continued their resurgence
under Fabio Capello with a 2-1 victory over Germany in Berlin to end
2008 on a high. The Three Lions, who recorded a famous 5-1 success on
their last visit to Germany, took a scrappy lead in the 23rd minute as
centre-back Matthew Upson poked home after Rene Adler had flapped at a
Stewart Downing corner.

After the break, England continued to enjoy the better of proceedings
but substitute goalkeeper Scott Carson endure a horrible mix-up with
Terry to allow Germany striker Patrick Helmes to equalise on 63
minutes. Terry headed a late winner at the Olympic Stadium after
Matthew Upson's first-half opener was cancelled out by Patrick Helmes,
and the Chelsea defender was pleased to secure the win.

Injuries forced Fabio Capello to name an experimental line-up in
Wednesday's friendly in Berlin, with Aston Villa striker Gabriel
Agbonlahor making his debut. But an England side which also included
fringe players such as Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Carrick and
Stewart Downing put on a highly impressive performance.


Sir Alex Ferguson has high hopes that Fabio Da Sliva will make as big an impact on the first-team as his twin brother Rafael. The 18-year-olds twin arrived in the summer from Fluminese and right-back Rafael is already making an impression in the first-team squad.
Fabio, a left-back, has seen his progress hampered by a shoulder operation which has meant he has been sat on the sidelines as his brother has captured the headlines. But Ferguson admits that he is fully confident that Fabio will soon produce the goods like Rafael.


Cristiano Ronaldo's finally scored his 100th goal and the Manchester
United boss marked 50 years in the game with a comfortable 5-0 win
over Stoke. It was not as bad as what Arsene Wenger said about Stoke,
their robust approach might have suggested Sir Alex Ferguson to revise
his opinion about Tony Pulis' side.

It took just three minutes for Ronaldo to reach his personal milestone
with a trademark free-kick and rounded off United's biggest win of the
season in similar fashion at the end. In between Michael Carrick and
Dimitar Berbatov also found the net, with England Under-19 forward
Danny Welbeck scoring on his debut.


Karim Benzema admits he would consider a move to Manchester United in
the future. The Lyon striker was quoted referring the Red Devils as
one of the the big clubs which he can progress to a higher level in
his career.

The highly-rated France international is expected to leave the Ligue 1
champions at the end of the season, with no shortage of admirers
waiting in the wings. But Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who is
understood to be a long-term fan of Benzema, could now consider a bid
after the 20-year-old confessed that he would be attracted to any 'big


Sir Alex Ferguson has been informally approached by London 2012
Olympics chairman Sebastian Coe about the role of Great Britain
football team. But the Manchester United boss has played down talk
that he would be involved.

Current England manager Fabio Capello could be another suitable
candidate as he has suggested he would love to end his career when he
is 66 at the London Olympics. However, the Prime Minister's ambassador
for the 2018 World Cup bid, Richard Caborn still optimistic that Sir
Alex can still be persuaded for the job.


Cristiano Ronaldo's agents have confirmed that the player is set to
have talks over a new deal at Manchester United. Ronaldo, who is odds
on favourite to be named both World and European Footballer of the
Year later this season, appears keen on securing a new deal, despite
spending most of the summer stating he wished to move to Real Madrid.
However, there is still no confirmed date for the talks has been


Carlos Tevez's late penalty saw off QPR 1-0 as Manchester United
advanced to the Carling Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford. Few would
begrudge United their success but their Championship opponents would
have taken the tie to extra-time had it not been for Peter Ramage's
rash tackle on England Under-19 striker Daniel Welbeck.

Tevez was not about to pass up the opportunity and confidently beat an
otherwise faultless Radek Cerny to steer United through. No-one could
deny United deserved their success even though they wasted a
succession of half-chances and were not as clinical as they might have
been given their dominance of possession.


Rafael Da Silva arrived with twin brother Fabio and Possebon as
United's search for young talent took on a global dimension. Although
it was felt all three would have to be patient in waiting for their
first-team opportunities, Ferguson has recognised the extreme talent
in his midst.

Rafael is now pushing skipper Gary Neville and currently-injured
England international Wes Brown hard for a regular starting spot.
Ferguson credited Rafael with providing the lead that eventually
resulted in the Red Devils snatching a precious Champions League point
off Celtic at Parkhead last week. And then on Saturday, he belted home
his first senior goal, even if it was not enough to stave off defeat
at Arsenal.


Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has flown to Colorado to
see renowned knee specialist Dr Richard Steadman to see if he can put
an end to his injury nightmare.

The midfielder has been out of action for seven weeks and has seen his
time at Manchester United constantly interrupted by what the club
diagnosed as endonitis. It has got so bad that the 27-year-old cannot
play two games in the same week for the Reds and United boss Sir Alex
Ferguson has confirmed that Hargreaves has flown to America.


Arsenal bounced back from turmoil to defeat Manchester United 2-1
thanks to a brace from Samir Nasri. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger
admitted that the at Emirates Stadium breathes life into their
campaign and lifts them above United in the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners had Adebayor injured and van Persie suspended but Samir
Nasri provided the attacking threat, taking advantage of slack marking
in each half to grab his fourth and fifth goals of the season. Rafael
da Silva, on as a substitute, volleyed home a late strike to give Sir
Alex Ferguson's men hope, but Arsenal held on after six minutes of
stoppage-time for the win they needed..

It was Arsenal's first test this season against their traditional
top-four rivals and Wenger's men passed the examination. This clash
between two heavyweights had everything, chances, yellow cards,
counter-attacking and also four penalty shouts.


Over the past two seasons the Reds have twice squandered match-winning positions at Arsenal, and Rooney is intent on avoiding a repeat.
Rooney scored on both visits so far to the Emirates, but on each occasion Arsenal mounted dramatic late comebacks. In January 2007, Thierry Henry scored a rare headed goal to give the Gunners a 2-1 win and last season William Gallas netted seconds from the final whistle to secure a point.
Meanwhile, Rooney is confident United's squad is equipped to cope with the strains of competing in multiple competitions, and says he relishes the hectic fixture list.


Manchester United's players were given a lift ahead of their Premier League game against Arsenal when Diego Maradona visited them at their training ground on Friday. The new Argentina coach is visiting clubs in England to meet up with some of the key players in his national squad.

Maradona had a conversation with United's Argentina striker Carlos Tevez but also made a big impact on the rest of Alex Ferguson's squad, including Rio Ferdinand who received a signed shirt from the 1986 World Cup winner to mark his 30th-birthday. Ferdinand added that Maradona had been one of his inspirations when he started to play football as a youngster in London. Sir Alex Ferguson, preparing his team to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, also welcomed Maradona's visit.


Cristiano Ronaldo is anticipating a tough encounter against Arsenal on
Saturday but feels confident that Manchester United can pick up three
points. The Gunners have struggled for form in recent weeks and also
have a number of injury problems ahead of the match at Emirates

Arsene Wenger's men are already six points adrift of Premier League
leaders Chelsea and Liverpool and have yet to play any of their major
rivals. There have been suggestions that Arsenal's title challenge
could be over if they slip to defeat against United but Ronaldo is
still wary of the threat they will present.

United lost their visits to both Liverpool and Arsenal and also
dropped points against Newcastle and Everton this term, and Ronaldo
feels Sir Alex Ferguson's side have plenty to prove as they go for a
title hat-trick. United had an excellent record at Highbury in its
latter years, they have so far managed a single point from two visits
to the Emirates, conceding late goals on both occasions.


Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has challenged his team-mates to turn around their recent slump and beat Manchester United at the weekend. The Gunners were held to a goalless draw against Fenerbahce in the Champions League on Wednesday, making it three games without a victory.

Boss Arsene Wenger repeated his recent criticism of Stoke's strongarm tactics by again accussing referees and opponents of victimising his side following the stalemate with Fenerbahce. Mikael Silvestre is a fresh injury concern and Almunia missed the Group G clash with an upset stomach, while Bacary Sagna, Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor were also sidelined.


Ryan Giggs equaliser six minutes from time rescued Manchester United from defeat at Celtic and send the Champions League holders to the brink of a place in the last 16. Giggs, who celebrates his 35th birthday this month, finish from close range after Artur Boruc had failed to hold Cristiano Ronaldo's stinging shot.
Celtic opened the scoring as early as 13th minute after start when Ben Foster was left in no man's land and McDonald's lob looped over his head and dropped neatly into the visitors' net. With Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney consigned to the bench, United's attempts to get level centred around Cristiano Ronaldo. The Red Devils also had the better share of possession throughout the match.


England boss Fabio Capello fully approves of David Beckham's move to AC Milan, whom the England midfielder will join on loan on January 7. According to the deal, Beckham is only available for nine Serie A matches, he will be training at high intensity and will be determined to win a place in Carlo Ancelotti's team, with Capello certain the Milan boss will be impressed by the England midfielder's attitude.
The England also added that signing Beckham is a great acquisition. He is a very focused lad true professional. Recalling to his own experiences of the former Manchester United's star's strength in adversity: "When I left him out of the team in Madrid because he had signed the contract with the LA Galaxy, he continued to come to the pitch to train and I put him back in the team."


Rafael Benitez is preparing to welcome Diego Maradona to Anfield. The new Argentina boss has announced he is to visit England to discuss plans with Liverpool's Javier Mascherano and Manchester United's Carlos Tevez.
Argentina federation has told Benitez that Maradona will be in England between November 2 and 8. At the same time, Javier Mascherano was very excited pleased with the legend's appointment as the Argentina national team manager.


Frank Lampard feels Cristiano Ronaldo would be a worthy recipient of the FIFA World Player of the Year award. The Chelsea midfielder feels that with Ronaldo's 42 goals in a season, performances and wins the league and the Champions League is going to be hard to beat.
He also agrees with Ronaldo;s remark that The World Player of the Year award should go to a top player, and it goes generally to those that have won things as well. Both midfielders were named on the shortlist for the prestigious gong this week.


Manchester United survived a second-half fightback from Hull City to earn a nervous 4-3 Premier League victory at Old Trafford. The Tigers focus was ruffled as early as the third minute at the home of the champions as Ronaldo opened the scoring with his left foot after a give-and-go with Dimitar Berbatov.
Daniel Cousin equalised 20 minutes later, but United were soon back in front as Michael Carrick netting from 18 yards, and Ronaldo nodded in a third at a Nani corner. Nemanja Vidic put United in cruise control with another goal after the break. Hull tried to make a comeback with goals from Bernard Mendy and Geovanni converted from the penalty spot.  However, the efforts were too late for them to frustrate the Red Devils.