United now travel to relegation-threatened Sunderland, managed by illustrious old-boy Roy Keane, knowing victory will put them top, if only for a few hours as Arsenal tackle Portsmouth at Fratton Park a couple of hours later.
Veteran keeper Edwin van der Sar will again miss out on Boxing Day after picking up a slight groin strain but Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves, who were also missing with a gashed foot and a back complaint respectively, should be available.
"We have started the Christmas period well and I will freshen things up a bit on Wednesday," said Ferguson.
"I have players like Darren Fletcher, John O'Shea, Nani, Louis Saha and Park Ji-sung, who is back in the squad now. They are all fit and fresh so we've got a few options."