Date: 26th April 2011 at 11:03am
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Ahead of tonight’s game against Schalke, Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed the return of defender Rio Ferdinand.

Having missed a large part of the season with a calf injury following the turn of the year, Sir Alex had claimed we would be lucky to see him back on the pitch but the center back recovered in time for the first leg of our quarter final clash against Chelsea and the impact of his return was felt immediately as he slotted back into defence beside Nemanja Vidic and helped us over come the London team.

Now with the final insight and just Schalke blocking our path Sir Alex has praised his defender saying:

“Rio’s ability showed itself in the first leg against Chelsea. He was absolutely immense.

“That experience and ability is vital in the situation we are in at the moment. He is fresh and ready to play and that is a big step forward for us.”

Schalke will be no push over and in the German side United will not only have to overcome an old foe in Raul but will also have to over come an old whoodoo in facing German teams at the knockout stage of European competition.

United have faced Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Leverkusen and last year Bayern Munich in the quarter final and have failed to win any of these 2 legged ties so Sir Alex will be wary of the threat that a reinvigorated Schalke under Ralf Ragnick pose.