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Five Aside

United without wingers for Reading

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that he will be without Nani and Antonio Valencia for Saturday's game against Reading.

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It is hoped Valencia will be back in time for the derby contest against Manchester City the following weekend, but Nani is expected to be sidelined until after Christmas with a hamstring complaint.

The likes of Ryan Giggs and Nick Powell are available to bolster the Scot's midfield options, however.

"Nani and Valencia are still out," Ferguson said. "Nani will be out for four or five weeks. It's a hamstring injury and you have to take your time with it.

"Antonio should be fit for next week. He's got a hip injury, which is painful, but getting better.

"Nick Powell has had a virus but should be okay for tomorrow and Giggs had a slight hamstring strain but should also be okay. Nemanja Vidic has started training, which is good news, and Paul Scholes is back from suspension."

United will be expected to win against Reading at the Madejski Stadium, but Ferguson has stressed there are no easy games at this level any more - noting that fans should not quickly forget the recent defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road.

"I think away games are getting more difficult in the Premier League," he said. "Norwich is a good example of that. They made it a difficult day for us and we expect the same at Reading."


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