Fergie predicts tough Stoke test

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Sir Alex Ferguson will welcome back Javier Hernandez and Rio Ferdinand to his squad for Saturday's trip to the Britannia Stadium.

The Mexican striker escaped serious injury against Chelsea last weekend, and could feature against Stoke, despite suffering what at first looked like a serious injury at Old Trafford.

"At the time it happened, he had no feeling in the leg," confirmed Ferguson. "There was numbness and and we thought there might have been some nerve damage. [But] he's available for tomorrow.

"Hopefully I'll have Rio tomorrow [as well]. His experience away from home in a game like this is always important.

"We've got a slight doubt about Chris Smalling – we'll see what he's like this morning. If he's back we're covered well for it."



Looking ahead to tomorrow's encounter, the Red Devils boss knows his side will face a physical test, against a side who have come on leaps and bounds since their arrival in the Barclays Premier League.

And Ferguson knows that his players will have to work hard if they want to maintain their 100 per cent start to the 2011-12 campaign.

"I've never criticised it [Stoke's style of play]," he continued. "It's never been a problem for us. Everyone plays to their strengths. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

"You see the progress the team is making. They have signed two or three players, they are playing European football and having a right go.

"They have a great attitude and their support is brilliant. I love the atmosphere there. If you don't attend to that you just get engulfed."

Premier League
Manchester United
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