Manchester United were without several senior players including Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs as they flew out to Marseille for Wednesday night's Champions League match.
Ferdinand has not played since injuring a calf before United's Premier League defeat at Wolves on February 5, and his fellow central defender Jonny Evans also misses the trip, having been battling an ankle problem.
That meant Chris Smalling was in line to start alongside Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the United back four against the French giants.
Veteran midfielder Giggs was another absentee from the United party, which was also missing Michael Owen, who has a groin injury.
United midfielder Anderson was a non-traveller and could be facing a lengthy absence from the side after being substituted at half-time in Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round win over Crawley.
He reportedly suffered a knee injury which will need further examination before United can be sure how long he will be absent for.
However United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was able to include Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio, despite the pair both coming off with injuries during the Crawley match, while youngsters Joshua King and Ryan Tunnicliffe were also selected, along with Gabriel Obertan and Bebe.
Squad: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Lindegaard; Vidic, O'Shea, Brown, Rafael, Fabio, Evra, Smalling, Scholes, Gibson, Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Bebe, Obertan, Tunnicliffe, Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, King.
So with no injury specified, is Giggs just getting a rest before the Premier League double header? Is Ferdinand missing out as a precaution or is his calf problem worse than first thought? Who's Fergie's first choice right-back, O'Shea of Rafael? Does Anderson's injury mean two starts for Scholes, Fletcher or Carrick? How the hell is Bebe considered a professional footballer?
All important question I'll be hoping to answer closer to deadline, but there is enough uncertainty for me to consider limiting my double gamers to go with more certain single gamers. Maybe something like...
Friedel, Kolarov, Smalling, Evra, Hitzlsperger, Pennant, Silva, Nani, RvP, Carew, Rooney
I'm fairly certain Smalling will play at Wigan so he's still good value even if Ferdinand comes back for Chelsea, while Evra, Nani & Rooney will play both. I suppose I could move Pennant to Scholes & switch Friedel to Van Der Sar, but whether that's smart or not is another issue entirely. More discussion on this in tomorrow's player picks & friday's team/injury update posts.
Which United players are you considering?
(Just realised this is my 500th post - wow!)
Additional News:Van Persie & Koscielny have been ruled out of the Stoke match tomorrow night.