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Red ambush

ALEX FERGUSON is preparing for an Andy Carroll-inspired Red ambush at Anfield after Manchester United caught a dose of the blues at Stamford Bridge.

The Old Trafford boss was left spluttering and fuming after losing 2-1 to Chelsea in a game which saw Nemanja Vidic sent off, ruling him out of Manchester United's next big away day at Anfield on Sunday.

"You hope you get a strong referee in games like this," said Ferguson. "You want a fair referee - or a strong referee, anyway - and we didn't get that. I must say, when I saw who the referee was I did fear it. I feared the worst."

With Vidic unavailable, Ferguson is down to bare bones at the back and if he thought that Liverpool would be below strength because of injury, he is in for a rude awakening.

Carroll is waiting on an assessment by Liverpool physios for the final all-clear to play, while coach Steve Clarke is confident that Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio and Raul Meireles will all be fit to face Manchester United.

"We're hopeful. Meireles had a little problem with his knee and as a precaution at the start of the second half we thought it was better to take him off. That gives him a better chance of being ready for the next game," said Clarke.

"He'll get three or four days on the easy list and then hopefully towards the end of the week we'll be able to put him back in the preparations for the weekend."

Clarke and Kenny Dalglish will know more about Agger and Aurelio towards the end of the week.

"They are both on the easy list at the moment," Clarke said. We're almost sure Fabio Aurelio will join us on Thursday and we're hopeful Daniel will join us on Thursday or Friday at the latest."