United quartet miss training ahead of Sociedad clash

Vidic and Ferdinand sit out session as they recover from minor knocks

Nemanja Vidic is one of four key Manchester United players to miss training ahead of the Champions League game against Real Sociedad at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Photograph:  Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Nemanja Vidic is one of four key Manchester United players to miss training ahead of the Champions League game against Real Sociedad at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 11:29

Four key players were missing from Manchester United’s training session ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against Real Sociedad.

Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley were absent as well as central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

Cleverley, Vidic and Ferdinand all missed the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Southampton in the Premier League.

Adnan Januzaj took part in the training session after being added to the Champions League squad as a home-grown player.

Ferdinand and Vidic both missed Saturday’s game with minor knocks and United manager David Moyes had hoped that either or both would be fit for the visit of the Spanish side.

Cleverley has been out with a calf injury, but it is not yet known why Welbeck was absent from the training session.

The session did feature Darren Fletcher taking part with the whole group after several weeks working on his own to regain fitness.

The 29-year-old midfielder has been battling a chronic bowel condition and has made only seven starts in the past two years – his most recent was on St Stephen’s Day last year – but there are hopes that he could return to competitive action later this month.

United should go into Wednesday’s match against Sociedad full of confidence as the Basque side have struggled in the Champions League, losing both their opening games, 2-0 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk and 2-1 away at Bayer Leverkusen.