Freedman will rotate his squad for Old Trafford test

MANCHESTER UNITED vs CRYSTAL PALACE

CRYSTAL PALACE manager Dougie Freedman admits his attempts to steer the club to a first cup semi-final for 10 years have been compromised by fixture congestion.

Tonight’s Carling Cup quarter-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford takes place just 48 hours before Palace entertain Derby County.

Freedman is looking forward to locking managerial horns with Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time, but with his side just two points off the Championship play-off pace, the ex- Scotland forward revealed tonight’s team selection will be heavily influenced by Friday’s fixture against their fellow promotion hopefuls.

“We’ve got to take into account that 48 hours later we are playing Derby, so we’ve got to make sure we are also prepared,” said Freedman, who was a Palace player the last time they reached the last four of this competition back in 2001.

“I will be mixing both teams around to give me the best opportunity to win both games. I’ll pick a team that can hold on for as long as possible against Manchester United and then pick a team that can beat Derby.”