Belfast Telegraph

Welbeck gives Ferguson options

Sir Alex Ferguson is considering giving striker Danny Welbeck a first start since suffering a muscle injury on England duty last month in Wednesday's crucial Champions League clash away to Basle.

Ferguson has to fill the void left by the torn ankle ligaments sustained by six-goal Javier Hernandez during Saturday's 1-0 win at Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League. But Welbeck, who has netted five times for United this season, impressed on his comeback as a substitute in the final 15 minutes after Phil Jones' first ever senior goal settled the issue.

"We think with Hernandez that it's torn ankle ligaments unfortunately. That will keep him out for a month. But Danny Welbeck came back at Villa, got some time on the pitch, and he gives us an option for Wednesday," said Ferguson.

"He's not had a lot of football recently so it's something I'll have to consider. But I thought Nani did all right down the middle and Antonio Valencia also did very well when he came on so we've got some options up front. Maybe Berbatov will be fit also."

United have regrouped in impressive style since the 6-1 home mauling by Manchester City and achieved their fourth single-goal win in the last five games against Alex McLeish's side.

Their fifth away success of the campaign also equalled the entire number of league wins they achieved throughout the 2010-2011 season.

Ferguson said: "The one good thing is we've increased our concentration away from home. We've certainly showed in the last few games the concentration in terms of defensively.

"I thought we controlled the game, some of our football was good and there were some good performances. We had a good rhythm to our game.

"Yes, maybe we could have done better in the finishing department. We missed some good opportunities and on three occasions we had three-versus-three and three-versus-two on occasions and that can cost you.

"But I think consistency will help us in terms of the confidence."

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