Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Evans to Bridge gap for Manchester United

Jonny Evans could play for Manchester United against Chelsea next weekend
Jonny Evans could play for Manchester United against Chelsea next weekend

Northern Ireland star Jonny Evans could be in line to play his first game of the season for Manchester United - against Chelsea!

United’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday was hard enough to take, but it was made worse when influential defender Nemanja Vidic was sent off in the dying moments meaning he will be suspended for Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Wes Brown and Gary Neville are capable of playing at centre back, but Sir Alex Ferguson will strongly consider Evans to be Rio Ferdinand’s partner against the league leaders at the heart of the defence.

Certainly the performance put in by Evans for Northern Ireland against the Czech Republic in last week’s 0-0 draw at Windsor Park in a World Cup qualifier has done the Belfast man’s cause no harm whatsoever.

Ferguson rates the 20-year-old highly, so much so that recently the United boss turned down a £10 million offer from Sunderland, where Evans had previously impressed on loan.

United open up the defence of their Champions League crown on Wednesday night at Villarreal when Vidic, before his suspension, and Ferdinand will provide the backbone of the side. After that Evans will come into the reckoning.

Another man who could play against Chelsea is Cristiano Ronaldo. After recovering ahead of schedule from an ankle injury, he may even be involved in the Champions League clash.

The Portugal ace says that he does not expect a hostile reception from United fans after failing to secure a move to Real Madrid.

Ronaldo was linked with a move to Spain all summer and some fans were disgruntled by his apparent desire to move to the Bernabeu.

But he says: “When I put on the shirt, I give it my all.

"I'm already in the history of the club.

“When I play the fans will love me again."

Ronaldo also flatly denied there is any chance of him joining newly-rich Manchester City in the future after claims they would pay £135million for him.

"No way do I see myself in the shirt of another Manchester team," he said.

"I didn't realise I was worth that much!"

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