Rio Ferdinand returns to Old Trafford, where he won six league titles and made 450 appearances for Manchester United, and will face his old club today at 11amET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Ferdinand was cut loose along with Nemanja Vidic in the defensive overhaul at Manchester United, and brought to Queens Park Rangers by manager Harry Redknapp.
New United manager Louis van Gaal has decided to select a very meaningful lineup in the sense that it’s incredibly defensive, and has scrapped his three-at-the-back system in favor of a more simple 4-5-1/4-4-2 with Robin van Persie up front, and Wayne Rooney likely in a fluid position.
With the Flying Dutchman up front, massive new signing Radamel Falcao starts on the bench due to recent international duty, while Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo make their debuts for the Red Devils. Falcao could (and likely will, one would think) from the bench, as could Luke Shaw who returns from injury.
Despite the returns of Shaw and Ander Herrera from knocks, injury has struck Manchester United hard all season, and it’s no different today. They are without nine players including Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, and Marouane Fellaini.
Queens Park Rangers have some injuries of their own to deal with, as Joey Barton and Jordan Mutch picked up injuries midweek so Redknapp favorite Niko Kranjcar comes into the starting lineup for the first time this year, as does Sandro fresh over from Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Rojo, Blackett; Blind, Herrera, Mata, Di Maria, Rooney; van Persie.
Bench: Lindegaard, Shaw, Fletcher, Januzaj, Valencia, A Pereira, Falcao.
Queens Park Rangers: Green; Hill, Ferdinand, Caulker, Isla; Sandro, Kranjcar, Fer; Phillips, Hoilett, Austin.
Bench: McCarthy, Traore, Onuoha, Henry, Vargas, Zamora, Taarabt.