Rooney, Ferdinand return for Man U against Rangers
Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand are set to return for Manchester United for the Champions League match against Rangers at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Rooney was left out of United's squad for its Premier League match against Everton on Saturday, as manager Alex Ferguson looked to protect the England striker from crowd abuse following tabloid allegations about his private life.
Ferdinand is fit again after injuring his knee just before the start of the World Cup, and could start at center back for the three-time European champions.
United created plenty of chances in the 3-3 draw at Everton but will still welcome the cutting edge of Rooney, who was the team's top scorer last season and was in impressive form for England last week.
"He'll be playing Tuesday," Ferguson said before United conceded two stoppage-time goals in a 3-3 draw with Everton.
Rooney, who issued a statement with his wife Coleen on Friday requesting the media to respect the couple's privacy, trained with the rest of United's squad on Monday.
Ferdinand would have captained England at the World Cup if he hadn't been hurt in training. He was not risked against Everton despite being in full training since the start of the month. Ferdinand could be brought back against the Scottish champions as United, which was eliminated by Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals last season, begins its 15th consecutive Champions League campaign.
It is the third time in five years United has been drawn alongside a Scottish side in group play, having met Celtic in 2006-07 and 2008-09.
"Celtic came down here a couple of years ago, so we know what to expect from the top teams in Scotland," United defender Jonny Evans said. "We'll have done our homework on Rangers too, but it's going to be a really tough game."
Rangers has opened the defense of its Scottish title with four successive wins, the latest being a 2-1 victory at Hamilton on Saturday. Walter Smith's side failed to win any of its six group matches in the Champions League last year.
"Our performances away from home in the Champions League last season were decent enough, so hopefully we can replicate those performances and maybe even try and do better at Old Trafford," Smith said.
United, which is third in the Premier League, is without midfielder Michael Carrick because of an ankle injury, while Rangers is likely to be missing defender Kirk Broadfoot due to an ankle complaint.
Security has been stepped up for the match, with police mindful of the last time Rangers played in Manchester - in the UEFA Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg in 2008. On that occasion, rioting broke out in the city center close to kickoff after a big screen that was supposed to be showing the match broke down, leading to nine people being jailed.
A judge has since described the incident as "the worst night of violence and destruction suffered by Manchester city center since the Blitz."
In the other Group C match, Valencia travels to Turkish side Bursaspor.