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Ferdinand and Ronaldo fit for title clash

  • Story Highlights
  • Rio Ferdinand returns after injury to play against Chelsea in Sunday title clash
  • Cristiano Ronaldo also fit to turn out despite high-speed car crash in midweek
  • Chelsea captain John Terry and Michael Ballack both back after suspensions
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(CNN) -- Rio Ferdinand returns to the Manchester United defense for Sunday's Premier League showdown with title rivals Chelsea while Cristiano Ronaldo will also take his place despite his high-speed car crash this week.

Ronaldo's Ferrari was a complete write-off after his accident on the way to training.

Ferdinand was an integral part of United's double winning team last season.

Center-back Ferdinand has been out for the past four games with a back injury, but his timely return will give United a lift as they entertain second-placed Chelsea at Old Trafford.

"He's missed the last few games and that's given us time to get things settled down," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports News on Friday.

"He's one of the best center-backs in the world, and he does make a difference because he's got the presence and stature to play in these big games," added Ferguson.

Ferguson refused to comment on Ronaldo, who wrote off his new Ferrari in a crash on Thursday morning, other than to confirm him in the line-up.

Portuguese star Ronaldo escaped unhurt when his high-speed sportscar hit a crash barrier near Manchester Airport and was able to train with his teammates later in the morning.

Ferguson, who was disappointed by his team's performance in a 1-0 League Cup semifinal first leg defeat at Derby on Wednesday, also has French defender Patrick Evra back after a four-game suspension.

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  • Ronaldo escapes high-speed car smash
  • "We had 24 players training this morning," Ferguson said. "We've everyone fit for Sunday except Wes (Brown) and Owen (Hargreaves), which is a really good position to be in."

    A win for reigning champions United will take them to within a point of Chelsea with two games in hand, although both trail leaders Liverpool who are at Stoke on Saturday.

    Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is fully aware of the importance of the match in the title race.

    "Every game is a test but if you lose three points against a direct opponent, you are in trouble. We need to win all the big games now," Brazilian Scolari told Sky Sports News.

    He will be boosted by the return after suspension of captain John Terry and Germany international Michael Ballack and hoping to improve on their display in the 1-1 FA Cup draw to minnows Southend last weekend.

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