Captain Ferdinand has not played for United since sustaining a calf injury in the warm-up prior to the club's 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on February 5, but the absence of Giggs is as yet unexplained.
Michael Owen (groin) and Jonny Evans (ankle) also failed to board the plane to France, while Anderson fails to make the trip having suffered a knee injury in the FA Cup win over Crawley which could see him sidelined for two months.
Marseille, meanwhile, have learned that France international Mathieu Valbuena has recovered from a knee injury suffered on January 22 and could play in the last-16, first-leg tie.
"I am operational and at the coach's disposition," Valbuena said. "It's up to him to decide if he selects me or not."
However, fellow international Andre-Pierre Gignac will definitely miss out after straining an adductor muscle.
Full Manchester United squad: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Lindegaard; Vidic, O'Shea, Brown, Rafael, Fabio, Evra, Smalling; Scholes, Gibson, Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Bebe, Obertan, Tunnicliffe; Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, King.