United without defensive duo
© AFP

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic will both miss Manchester United's UEFA Champions League trip to Rangers.

Although the central defensive duo trained at Carrington this morning, neither were part of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad for the Battle of Britain clash at Ibrox.

With a Premier League meeting with in-form Blackburn Rovers looming on Saturday and a Carling Cup quarter-final at West Ham United next Tuesday, Ferguson has opted to give both men a rest, believing his squad are capable of gaining the point required to secure qualification for the knockout phase without them.

You cannot compare it to a league game or others in the Champions League. It more aggressive on the pitch and the atmosphere in the stadium is really high.
Park Ji-Sung, Manchester United midfielder

Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans, who has not featured since the Carling Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in October, are expected to deputise. In addition, Darren Fletcher also sits out the return to Scotland. Although he has had a heavy workload recently, Fletcher would have relished an outing for United north of the border.

Darron Gibson and Gary Neville were the other notable absentees from training this morning as United stayed at Carrington for their final session ahead of their short flight to Glasgow. Ryan Giggs took part in training and Wayne Rooney is expected to make his first start since the Premier League visit to Bolton Wanderers at the beginning of last month.

Meanwhile, Park Ji-Sung is acutely aware of the cross-border tensions that surround English meetings with Scotland. His own experiences involve Celtic, but he knows he should expect something similarly special.

"The atmosphere in the stadium is totally different," he said. "You cannot compare it to a league game or others in the Champions League. It more aggressive on the pitch and the atmosphere in the stadium is really high. There is a lot more media attention as well.

"Nobody has to say anything, it is just a natural feeling that this is a different game. And it doesn't only apply to the British players. It is equally special for the foreign ones as well. If we get a draw we will be through but we are not going there to get one point. We want three.

"If we get through the manager can rest a few players for the last game, which is a far better option for home when you consider the number of league games and other cup ties we still have to deal with."