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Fletcher set to miss third Champions League final

| 26.05.2011

Unlucky Darren Fletcher is on course to miss a third Champions League final for Manchester United after assistant manager Mike Phelan hinted that he may not have played enough recent football to take part.

Fletcher was an unused substitute in the 2008 Champions League final win over Chelsea and was not in the squad in Rome a year later against Barcelona after being ruled out by suspension.

The Scotland midfielder was a first-team regular at Old Trafford this season until being sidelined by a virus in March and he has only played 107 minutes of football since.

Sir Alex Ferguson would already have a tough decision picking a starting line-up and 18-man squad to face Barcelona with Fletcher fully fit, but the fact his recent impact has been so minimal may make this decision easier.

Phelan said: “Darren Fletcher, up and running and firing on all cylinders, gives us a hard job of picking the team. But it’s never easy to come back when you’ve been out for so long.”

Fletcher is certainly unlikely to start at Wembley, with Manchester United likely to start with Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs in the midfield.

Therefore, with only one central midfielder expected to named on the bench, Fletcher will be vying for this spot with Paul Scholes, Anderson and Darron Gibson.

Manchester United are 11/4 in the Champions League odds to win the final inside 90 minutes and there use of substitutes could be vital in doing this, particularly if they are ahead into the latter stages at Wembley.

It is 13/8 that Manchester United lift the Champions League trophy and substitutes could also be fundamental to this if fresh legs are required during extra time.

A £30 stake on Manchester United winning the Champions League final 3-1 would return £860. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.