Ferdinand left out of United squad

Rio Ferdinand is the shock absentee from the Manchester United line-up to face Liverpool at Old Trafford this afternoon.

It was suggested that Ferdinand was not well, which meansJonny Evans partners new skipper Nemenja Vidic in a United line-up that also includes Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov up front.

As expected, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are recalled for Liverpool and Joe Cole also keeps his place on a ground where his goal did so much to turn the Premier League title race Chelsea’s way last season.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Vidic, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney.

Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Macheda, Gibson.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Meireles, Poulsen, Maxi, Gerrard, Cole, Torres.

Subs: Jones, Agger, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Lucas, Ngog.

Referee: Howard Webb.

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