According to the Mirror‘s David McDonnell, David Moyes will drop long-serving defender Rio Ferdinand for Chris Smalling.
Smalling has only recently returned from a month-long injury layoff with a hamstring problem, playing the full 90 in the weekend win over Newcastle alongside Phil Jones.
According to McDonnell, it will be Smalling alongside Nemanja Vidic for the Champions League second leg against Bayern Munich later today, with Ferdinand dropped from the first-leg draw, in which he partnered well with Vidic.
The report says Phil Jones will move to right-back, and Patrice Evra will remain on the left.
Moyes has struggled to maintain defensive consistency this season, with Ferdinand making just 11 Premier League starts this season but playing the full 90 minutes in seven of United’s nine Champions League matches. Much of this is the cause of both injury and inconsistent form at the back.
In addition, Shinji Kagawa is reportedly set to start. The former Borussia Dortmund attacker is unbeaten in five career matches against Bayern Munich, and has won all four in which he’s started.
Wayne Rooney’s status is still technically unclear, but the manager dropped a massive hint the other day saying he’d be “mad” to not include Wayne Rooney in the squad for Manchester United’s attempt at toppling the trophy machine that is Bayern Munich.
Also in that hint was a note that if they were to play him, England fans wouldn’t need worry about any risks to his health for the World Cup. Rooney is suffering from a chipped bone in his left foot and could need an injection to dull the pain if he indeed starts.
Four years ago, Rooney injured his ankle in this very venue which greatly hampered his performance in the 2010 World Cup that summer.