Jones out of Real tie

Phil Jones has been rule out of this evening’s crucial Champions League last sixteen second leg clash with Real Madrid.

The 21 year old was one of the stand-out performers in the 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu three weeks ago, but has been unable to shake off an ankle injury picked up in the FA Cup win over Reading.

Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand have both trained ahead of the game, which will be welcome news for Sir Alex Ferguson, as a clean sheet will send the Premier League leaders through to the quarter finals.

Robin Van Persie is available after being withdrawn from Saturday’s win over Norwich City after an hour, while Ryan Giggs is set to return to the match day squad, with Ferguson stating that the Welshman will play some part in the game.

It means that the 39 year old will make his 1,000th career appearance after clocking up 931 games for United, winning 64 caps for Wales and playing four times to Team GB at last year’s Olympic Games.

Elsewhere, Manchester City last night closed the gap at the top of the Premier League to twelve points, after Carlos Tevez’s goal secured a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa.