Keane set to bolster United's defence

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson is planning to solve Manchester United's defensive crisis by playing his captain, Roy Keane, at centre-back in the home match against Chelsea today. The midfielder is being lined up to drop into the back four to put some much-needed muscle into a side who are leaking goals.

Ferguson has turned to Keane to form a new partnership with the struggling Laurent Blanc. With Ronny Johnsen injured and Wes Brown failing to live up to his reputation, Keane is coming to Blanc's rescue as well as the team's.

Ferguson has a surplus of midfield players and taking Keane out of that area is not a hardship with Juan Sebastian Veron, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt available. Ferguson is also going back to a more orthodox 4-4-2 formation after grumblings within the camp about five men being used in midfield for some European and key domestic matches.

The goalkeeper Fabien Barthez survives against Chelsea, despite his recent problems, as Ferguson makes one of his most surprising selections of the season.