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Five Aside

Berbatov misses training as Ronaldo limbers up

Manchester United could have a worry over new striker Dimitar Berbatov after he missed training this morning ahead of the Champions League clash with Villarreal. But the chances of Cristiano Ronaldo making a surprise early return from an ankle injury appear to have improved after he took a full part in the session. The Portuguese looks set for a place on the bench in United's opening game in defence of their title.

Michael Carrick, however, is certain to miss out after he suffered a broken metatarsal in the 2-1 defeat at Anfield on Saturday.

The loss of Berbatov would be a blow to the holders as they are also without Paul Scholes following his sending off in the European Super Cup against Zenit St Petersburg.

The former Tottenham striker's absence from training was as unexpected as it was worrying for boss Sir Alex Ferguson. He also picked up a knock at Anfield but was not thought to be in any danger of missing the match against the La Liga runners-up.

If Berbatov does miss out, then United may hand a debut to Angolan forward Manucho after he was recently granted a work permit to finally begin his Old Trafford career. He is also fit again after recovering from a broken metatarsal.


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