Manchester United have this afternoon confirmed Nemanja Vidic is set to be sidelined for around eight weeks. The Serbian missed Sunday’s trip to Liverpool and while reports had initially suggested he would return for this weekend’s home showdown with Tottenham, they have proven to be way off the mark, as the club announced:
“Nemanja Vidic has had a meniscus operation on his right knee and will be out for around eight weeks. Sir Alex, as a precautionary measure, rested Vidic at the weekend, after he complained of tightness in his knee, however, further medical investigation revealed the underlying problem. The central defender was operated on this week and will be sidelined for about eight weeks.”
It’s a bitter blow for Ferguson as his side square up to a run of fixtures that pit them against four of last season’s top six in the next five Gameweeks. Faith in the United backline has been dented by a single clean sheet accrued in the opening first five matches and today’s news will only lessen confidence in their ability to nullify opponents.
It’s perhaps a worry for Rafael’s newly-acquired owners – the right-back has been transferred in by over 31,000 FPL managers in the Gameweek so far, second only to Leighton Baines for defenders. If the right-back is to prosper, he’ll likely need to continue the attacking output that has so far harvested two goals in four starts – a tough ask, with games against Spurs, Newcastle, Chelsea and Arsenal on the horizon.
The Vidic news will – once again – promote Jonny Evans in our thinking. The Irishman benefitted from his skipper’s absence last term and looks set to establish himself as a regular in the first XI until the Serbian is ready to return. Bearing in mind that Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are still injured, there’s virtually no competition for Evans or Rio Ferdinand to worry about. Intriguingly, the two centre-halves and Rafael all come in under 6.0 in FPL – with starts looking assured and rotation threats in goal and at left-back, they seem nailed-on until Ferguson’s injury worries begin to ease.
With a threadbare backline that has struggled so markedly to produce clean sheets, it may well be that Ferguson has no option but to go on the attack in order to win games right now. If the same defensive pattern continues, returns at the back could well be minimal – such a scenario would place even greater reliance on Robin Van Persie and co to produce the goods up top, as United look to ride out what is a potentially difficult period.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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