Wednesday 20 May 2009 8:00 pm

O’Shea will face Barca, says Fergie

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UTILITY man John O’Shea has been assured of his place in Manchester United’s starting line-up for next week’s Champions League final against Barcelona.

The Republic of Ireland international has filled in at right back for the injured Wes Brown and Gary Neville this season and has been described as “fantastic” by boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

O’Shea was an unused substitute for United’s penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in last year’s final, but Ferguson has rewarded the 28-year-old for his loyal service with a place in the starting XI in Rome next Wednesday.

Ferguson said: “Because of the injuries to Gary Neville and Wes Brown, he has become a permanent fixture. He is ahead of everyone now.

“He takes his place in Rome because he deserves it, because he is ahead of everyone now. He is a fantastic, top professional.”