Brown times return to perfection

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The Independent Football

As Manchester United and Arsenal prepare to do battle in the Champions League next week the two clubs are counting up the injured with Gary Neville and John O'Shea of United and the Gunners' Robin van Persie all set to miss the match.

For United Neville, and O'Shea could be out for weeks, according to their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, after being forced out of Wednesday night's 2-0 win over Portsmouth at Old Trafford. United will be pleased then that Wes Brown is just returning from injury himself. Rafael da Silva provides the only other cover at right-back and, while the Brazilian has had an outstanding season for United, Ferguson may be reluctant to rely solely on a teenager.

After a season wrecked by injury, Brown came through a reserve team game at Preston North End on Monday and Ferguson is ready to put him into the squad for tomorrow's home game with Tottenham.

Arsène Wenger confirmed his goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, defender Johan Djourou (knee) and Emmanuel Adebayor could all be in contention for Arsenal's game with Middlesbrough on Sunday. However, Van Persie (groin) will be out until at least the trip to Portsmouth next week, meaning he misses the first leg of the United game, along with left-back Gaël Clichy (back). "We will rotate again, but we have no major injuries from Liverpool," Wenger said. "Manuel Almunia was in full training today and we will see how he responds. Djourou was in full training also so we will see how he is too. But Robin van Persie is definitely out for Sunday and for Manchester United."