Football: Schmeichel close to return

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The Independent Online
DESPITE fears that he would be out of action for a month, Peter Schmeichel is confident he will be fit to face Wimbledon at Old Trafford on Saturday.

United were without their talismanic goalkeeper for last week's European Cup exit, following the Dane's hamstring injury sustained when trying to tackle Dennis Bergkamp in their League defeat by Arsenal the previous weekend.

He ruled himself out of Denmark's friendly with Scotland tomorrow, but said: "Missing the international against Scotland is not really important. What is important is that I get fit for Wimbledon and make sure we can get back on to winning tracks.

"I am very optimistic. It's so important and I am going to go to the fullest extent to make sure that I am ready for it. I will be working very hard and I think I will make it. Winning the championship has become more important now so we can qualify directly for the Champions' League next season."

Schmeichel believes United's fixture list gives them the advantage over Arsenal. He said: "From now on we only play about once a week which is good. We haven't got any midweek games so we have plenty of time to recover and to work on every game as it comes along.

"Arsenal have got three games in hand but we have got the points. They have a lot of away games left and their fixtures are piling up because they are still in the FA Cup so I would rather be in our position - even though Arsenal can catch us if they win those games in hand."

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