Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes that the Reds are capable of winning the Champions League this season if they manage to avoid the injuries that have plagued previous campaigns.
“If we get all our players fit then we have got as good a chance as anyone in the competition,” he said, ahead of United’s last 16 tie against Real Madrid next month. “I think that’s been our problem over the last couple of years. We’ve had so many injuries and injuries to important players, too” he added.
United have reached the final of the Champions League twice since winning it in 2008 but they exited the competition at the group stage last season after a defeat away to Basel in which Nemanja Vidic received a season ending injury. “That has really hampered us, especially when it comes down to the real nitty-gritty stage of the season and we’ve got two big games in a week. You need your best players to be fit for those situations and that’s hurt us,” Ferdinand said. “Hopefully this season we’ll get a bit more luck in that area because I think we’ve got players good enough to do well in the Champions League.”
United qualified for the last 16 as the winners of Group H but they lost their last two games against Galatasaray and FC Cluj and they will need to find some more consistency if they are to go all the way this year. Whilst United are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League, the Champions League is a different beast and if the likes of Robin Van Persie (check out RVP’s odds for top goalscorer with bet365 online betting) or Wayne Rooney were to suffer injuries then their squad may begin to look a little thin compared to their European rivals. If, however, Alex Ferguson can manage to maintain a fully fit squad then Ferdinand’s confidence could certainly be justified.