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Man Utd short of strikers for Villa test

  • Story Highlights
  • Berbatov has scored 13 goals in 30 games since joining United from Spurs
  • England star Rooney ruled out after picking up late red card at Fulham
  • United face two crucial matches in three days at Old Trafford
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(CNN) -- Manchester United go into Sunday's Premier League match against fifth-placed Aston Villa facing a striker shortage after Dimitar Berbatov was ruled out for a further two weeks.

United manager Alex Ferguson is facing a big test to lift his faltering side.

United manager Alex Ferguson is facing a big test to lift his faltering side.

Berbatov limped off in the 2-0 defeat to Fulham which undermined United's title challenge and left them a single point ahead of Liverpool, admittedly with a game in hand, ahead of the resumption of league action.

Manager Alex Ferguson is also missing star striker Wayne Rooney, who is suspended after being sent off against Fulham, while Argentine star Carlos Tevez has yet to return after playing in his country's humiliating 6-1 defeat to Bolivia.

"With Dimitar out and Wayne suspended hopefully Carlos will be okay. That will give us one striker, then we will have to choose another," Ferguson told Press Association.

United will also be missing midfield dynamo Paul Scholes and central defender Nemanja Vidic after recent red cards, while there is a slight doubt over Rio Ferdinand who picked up a groin strain in England's 2-1 win over the Ukraine on Wednesday.

United are set to recall veteran defender Gary Neville, who has also been sidelined by injury, for a vital match after two straight defeats.

By the time they kick off at Old Trafford, arch-rivals Liverpool, who play at Fulham on Saturday evening, could have reclaimed the lead in the Premier League title race.

But Ferguson is confident his team will find their form again after the international break.

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"The facts is we are a point clear," he said.

"It doesn't matter how we got there, it is a great position to be in," adding that he had a quality squad.

"With that kind of ability and the experience we have of run-ins, I expect them to kick on. That is what we intend to do."

Ferguson is gambling on his team playing two games in three days, opting for a Sunday kickoff to allow his squad more time to recover from international trips.

They will then face Porto at Old Trafford on Tuesday in the first leg of a Champions League quarterfinal.

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