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Man Utd boss Ferguson makes major defensive withdrawals for derby

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has made sure skipper Nemanja Vidic will be available for the derby against Manchester City.

The Guardian says Ferguson has put in place measures to help ensure Manchester United have sufficient back-up for the injured Rio Ferdinand going into the derby against Manchester City on Saturday.

Ferguson has negotiated an agreement with the Serbian football association so that the club captain, Nemanja Vidic, is not involved in the game against Israel in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and can concentrate on facing Carlos Tevez at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand has been ruled out because of the calf injury he suffered in the warm-up before the 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and Jonny Evans has become the latest United player to withdraw from international duty. He cited a sore ankle for not taking any part in Northern Ireland's friendly against Scotland.

Chris Smalling had already withdrawn from the England Under-21 game against Italy because of an unspecified injury described only as a "knock".

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