London: Manchester United have flown to Germany for Tuesday`s Champions League game against Vfl Wolfsburg with only one first-team defender in their 19-man squad.
Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown, Gary Neville, Rafael, Fabio, John O`Shea and Jonny Evans are all absent due to injury or illness.
Fullback Patrice Evra is the only first-choice back in the squad with 19-year-old Oliver Gill the only other recognised defender after United`s hopes to add Belgian youngster Ritchie de Laet were foiled when he was ruled ineligible due to registration issues, the club said on Manchester United’s official website.
Midfielder Michael Carrick, who played in the back four in Saturday`s 4-0 win at West Ham United, is likely to continue in the role, surrounded by a group of inexperienced youngsters.
United are assured of qualification with one game remaining and strikers Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov and midfielder Ryan Giggs have been left out of the trip.
Champions League debutants Wolfsburg are second in the Group B standings on seven points, the same as CSKA Moscow, who play Besiktas.