Man Utd will field a 'strong' team against Blackpool

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson is preparing for the Champions League final against Barcelona

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said he will field a strong team against relegation-threatened Blackpool on Sunday.

Blackpool have the hardest task of the five relegation candidates, with a trip to the Premier League champions.

Ferguson has one eye on next week's Champions League final but said he will not pick inexperienced players.

"Edwin van der Sar, Darren Fletcher, Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes, Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov will play," he said.

Blackpool are locked in a five-way battle with Blackburn, Wolves, Birmingham and Wigan to avoid the final two relegation slots alongside West Ham.

A win at Old Trafford would considerably improve Ian Holloway's side's prospects of top-flight football for next season - but no team has beaten Manchester United in the Premier League at home all season.

However, with United preparing to play Spanish champions Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley next Saturday, Ferguson could have been tempted to rest key players.

Holloway said Ferguson would be offended by suggestions that he did not want to win his side's final home game of the season.

And the Scot said he wants to end United's domestic season with victory to give Dutch keeper Van der Sar the perfect send-off before he retires.

"You should be criticised if you lose a game that affects other teams," said Ferguson.

"I remember we played Hull a couple of years ago and played a lot of young players but we won the game 1-0.

"For some reason the previous year, Neil Warnock found it easy to criticise us for losing to West Ham. But if he had seen the game we battered them, so it was a bit unfair."

Ferguson also confirmed he will play a number of his first-choice players in Gary Neville's testimonial match against Juventus on Tuesday.

"We have to think about that game because Gary has been a fantastic servant to this club," added the 69-year-old.

"I hope he gets the crowd he deserves."

While Sunday will be Van der Sar's final appearance at Old Trafford, the home fans are uncertain whether it will be their last chance to see Paul Scholes in a United shirt.

The 36-year-old has yet to commit on his future after he was offered a one-year contract.

But Ferguson is confident the midfielder will still be a United player next season.

"I don't think this will be his last game," he added. "We have discussed it and I have encouraged him to stay on for another year."

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