The England duo Gary Neville and Owen Hargreaves will both be in Manchester United's Uefa Super Cup line-up in Monaco on Friday. Sir Alex Ferguson has pledged to take the encounter with Uefa Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg seriously after losing out to Lazio the last time United played in the game following their Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich in 1999.
However, Ferguson also recognises the match offers a perfect opportunity to give some game practice to some key figures within his squad. Neither Neville nor Hargreaves have played a competitive game for United yet this season. Hargreaves has been trying to overcome a tendinitis problem, while Neville has missed out due to the form of Wes Brown.
Nani is also available having completed a three-match ban for his dismissal against West Ham United last season. Ryan Giggs should be fit as well after missing Monday night's victory at Portsmouth with a hamstring problem.
While the Super Cup would not normally be given such a high priority in the Old Trafford fixture calendar, reminders of nine years ago still grate at Ferguson, who is determined to beat Dick Advocaat's men this time around. "I want to win," said the United manager. "I remember the last time we went there I only played half a team because we had a Monday league game against Newcastle.
"When I saw Lazio celebrating at the end, it was like they had won the World Cup. I was not too pleased. I thought, 'That will not happen again'."Reuse content