Ferguson explains selection

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Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Hull's relegation rivals would have even more reason to worry for their futures if he named his strongest side at the KC Stadium on Sunday.

With the Champions League final against Barcelona looming on Wednesday, Ferguson will leave all his senior stars out of the title winners' last league game, with the exception of Darren Fletcher, who is suspended, and the likes of Wes Brown, who will not be considered for Rome anyway.

"The players wouldn't forgive me if I played the strongest team at Hull," he said.

The situation has led to suggestions Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland may combine to launch legal action against the Old Trafford club, although the clubs themselves have rejected such a notion.

However, Ferguson cannot see how anyone would want Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and the rest doing battle on their behalf so close to one of the biggest matches of their lives.

Ferguson added: "The rest of the league may think it was good because United would be playing their strongest team but it is the worst thing that could happen to us.

"If you have a European final on the Wednesday and you get one of these 50-50 tackles in the first minute when the crowd is roaring, you just end up saying that is enough for me.

Instead, Federico Macheda, who could get a title medal given his match-winning contributions against Aston Villa and Sunderland, and Daniel Welbeck are set to lead the United attack, with Darron Gibson in midfield, just as they were in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley last month.

"I can assure everyone not to worry about my team," said Ferguson, who toyed with the idea of phoning Ricky Sbragia, Alan Shearer and Gareth Southgate to offer further reassurance about his likely line-up.

"If I can trust these lads in a semi-final, why can't I trust them in the last game of the season when we have already won the league?"

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Wes Brown
Premier League
Alan Shearer
Cristiano Ronaldo
Darren Fletcher
Gareth Southgate
Wayne Rooney
Aston Villa
Darron Gibson
Hull City

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