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United in triple blow, Ferdinand bros in Cole snub

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LONDON, England, September 13- Manchester United could be without Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa and Patrice Evra for their Barclays Premier League game against Wigan at Old Trafford on Saturday the Daily Mail reports.

Van Persie was taken off with a thigh problem during Holland’s win over Hungary on Tuesday while Kagawa sat out Japan’s game with Iraq with a back strain.
Crocked: Robin van Persie (left) faces a fight to be fit for the weekend

And left back Evra was so poor in France’s World Cup qualifying win over Belarus that he may be rested ahead of next Wednesday’s Champions League opener at home to Galatasaray.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will assess Van Persie and Kagawa at training on Thursday, but Kagawa is almost certainly out after saying on Wednesday he was still in pain.

The summer signing is also scheduled to appear at a United promotional press conference at Old Trafford on Friday, something that would not happen if he was due to play the next day.

If Evra is rested, it would mean a first start for new left back Alexander Buttner.

Meanwhile, the Ferdinand brothers, Rio and Anton have made a pact to snub Chelsea’s Ashley Cole when their teams, QPR and Manchester United face the Blues.

The Ferdinands believe they were betrayed by Cole when he agreed to speak as a defence witness for John Terry in his successful court battle against the charge that he racially abused Anton last season.

Centre back Anton will hold talks with QPR manager Mark Hughes on Thursday as the club gauge the player’s state of mind ahead of the potentially explosive London derby.

Terry was charged with racially abusing Anton during the Barclays Premier League match between QPR and Chelsea on October 23.

Cole’s decision to support Terry’s defence bemused Anton because the pair had been friends.

Chelsea captain Terry, who was stripped of the England armband by the FA before his trial, was acquitted at Westminster Magistrates Court on July 13 but is now facing an FA investigation into the comments he aimed at Anton on the pitch.

Anton, Terry and Cole will come face to face for the first time since the court battle on Saturday and QPR could make an official request for the pre-match handshake to be scrapped. The Premier League, though, are adamant it will go ahead, despite the prospect of a flashpoint.

Cole and Terry have ankle injuries, so the issue could be dodged for a third time. The first meeting between QPR and Chelsea after Anton’s accusation against Terry was an FA Cup fourth-round tie on January 28 — but the FA cancelled the handshake after it emerged the whole Rangers side would snub Terry.

Similarly, the Premier League ditched the pre-match ritual ahead of the Chelsea-QPR match on April 29 at the request of Ferdinand and Terry’s representatives.

Whatever happens this weekend, the matter will be reignited next month ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Chelsea.

Rio shares his brother’s antipathy towards Cole since the trial and the Manchester United defender seemingly endorsed a tweet referring to the left back as a ‘choc ice’ — a term with clear racial connotations.

Rio was found guilty of improper conduct and hit with a £45,000 fine by the FA.

Now the centre half is considering whether he will shake hands with Cole when United travel to Stamford Bridge on October 28.

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