Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is out of their Champions League clash at Benfica.

Ferdinand was not in the 19-man squad that flew to Portugal this morning, meaning United were without their first-choice central defensive pairing as Nemanja Vidic is currently missing with a calf problem.

It is not thought Ferdinand has suffered a fresh injury. However, after making his first appearance in a month during the 5-0 romp at the Reebok, and with Chelsea due at Old Trafford on Sunday, Sir Alex Ferguson is not wanting to take any chances with the 32-year-old, whose fitness record has been patchy over the past few years.

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