Manchester United will be without Paul Scholes when they take on Real Madrid in the Champions League tomorrow night.
The incredibly experienced midfielder has failed to recover from a knee injury, sustained against Fulham in the FA Cup last month, in time.
Scholes did train with the squad at United's Carrington base this morning, but was not among the travelling party that left for Spain this afternoon.
The 38-year-old was unikely to have started the match, but his Sir Alex Ferguson would likely have appreciated his experienced presence in the Bernabeu dressing room on Wednesday night. Most of the current Manchester United squad have never played against the nine-time European champions, with the last meeting between the sides taking place in 2003.
There was better news for Manchester United with Ashley Young making the journey to the Spanish capital after recovering from a knee injury.
In addition, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones have overcome the niggles that forced them to be substituted during Sunday's win over Everton.
By opting to remain in Manchester for their final training session, as they have done all season, Ferguson was aiming to keep his plans for the game secret.
It has been predicted Jones will be handed a midfield holding role, after successfully shackling Gareth Bale and Marouane Fellaini in recent weeks.
Ferguson has plenty of alternatives though, which include Tom Cleverley and Anderson, even though Michael Carrick is amongst those virtually certain to start.
Real were hardly any more forthcoming, opting to do their stretching session on the furthest pitch away from the cameras and not doing any meaningful work until after the media had left.
Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is expected to be fit and did train this morning despite doubts being expressed in the Spanish media about his participation.
Local reports also suggest up to 5,000 United fans will fly in for the game, a significant number of them without tickets.
And, whilst many observers believe Real are slight favourites, it appears the Spanish media are concerned as daily newspaper Marca has depicted Wayne Rooney as 'a freckled demon' who is 'built like a barrel packed with gunpowder' and on his way to 'blow up the Bernabeu'.
Not that Rooney has any great memories of the stadium, where he had to be hauled off for his own good by Sven Goran Eriksson in 2004 as he risked a first-half red card in a friendly against Spain which was marred by racist taunts at some of the visiting players.
"I've played at the Bernabeu once before for England against Spain, but it wasn't a good experience to be honest," Rooney said on his Facebook page.
"I got subbed just before half-time, and didn't really get many touches because Spain kept the ball really well.
"Hopefully this time it will go a lot better."
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