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Another pivotal weekend ahead in the Premiership title-race as Man Utd host Villa, while Chelsea entertain Boro. Click here for the latest betting odds!

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has blamed “futile” friendlies for the loss through injury of midfielder Darren Fletcher.

Fletcher, 24, played 90 minutes for Scotland against Croatia in midweek, but will now be out for six weeks after suffering a knee ligament injury.

“We’ve had a bad blow with Darren and it emphasises the futility of playing these friendly games,” said Ferguson.

“He should have played for 45 or 60 minutes at most, but he played the full game so he’s out for six weeks.

“He was recovering from a bad chest cold and we rested him last Sunday because of that,” added Ferguson.

“It’s a bad blow for us and it’s crazy. Supporters will stop going to these kind of games.

“They have the whole of the end of May, too. (England) have fixtures against Trinidad and the USA and I think every manager knows that they’re a waste of time.”

Another pivotal weekend ahead in the Premiership title-race as Man Utd host Villa, while Chelsea entertain Boro. Click here for the latest betting odds!

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