MANCHESTER, May 23 – Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Barcelona have gained a slight advantage over his side ahead of their Champions League final showdown in Rome next week.The Spanish champions will play the penultimate match of their domestic season against Osasuna on Saturday.
United, meanwhile, will complete their Premier League against Hull at the KC Stadium 24 hours later.
The extra rest for the Catalan giants could yet prove crucial, even though Ferguson is not expected to name many players to face Hull who will be in his starting line-up for European club football’s showpiece event on Wednesday.
Ferguson believes the Premier League could have brought the final fixtures forward by 24 hours and avoided giving him more reasons to field a weakened team at the KC Stadium, where Hull need to win to guarantee their top flight status for a second season.
Ferguson said: "Barcelona play on the Saturday night, but we have a programme on the Sunday when there is only one game in the country on the Saturday, the League Two Play-Off Final.
"England have had a team in the final for the last four years, so it’s not as though the Premier League were short of knowledge that it might happen again.
"They could easily have put the whole programme to the Saturday. That may have helped our situation.
"I still wouldn’t have played my strongest team, but one or two might have played."