Fergie: Ferdinand fit to face Porto

ALEX FERGUSON has confirmed he expects Rio Ferdinand to start Manchester United’s Champions League quarter-final against Porto.

Ferdinand has missed United’s last three games after picking up a groin injury at the end of England’s World Cup qualifying win over the Ukraine at Wembley on April 1.

But the 30-year-old has been in full training since Friday and travelled with the United squad on their flight to Portugal yesterday.

And Ferguson believes the England former West Ham defender should be fit to take his place in a United team who are looking to reach the last four for the third consecutive season by becoming the first English team to beat Porto on their own ground after last week’s 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

“We think Rio is fit,” said Ferguson. “He trained on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and he will start tomorrow.”

United have not kept a clean sheet in five games but the return of Ferdinand alongside Nemanja Vidic should bring some much-needed stability to their back four.

“There is a lot of quality in Rio’s game, so he is obviously going to make a difference,” said Ferguson.

“Also it gets us back the partnership between Rio and Nemanja Vidic, which has been the cornerstone of our great defensive performances this season. That is the difference he will make.”


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