Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has inserted central defender Rio Ferdinand into the starting 11 tonight against Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge.

Ferdinand has been inactive for several months, and there were questions whether he would play this season at all.

With Ferdinand named as a starter, that means up-and-coming central defender Chris Smalling will be on the bench for the Red Devils. Many felt that Smalling filled in admirably for the veteran Ferdinand.

Forward Wayne Rooney is in the starting 11 as well, despite a bruised shin. Park Ji-Sung, who played 63 minutes against West Ham United, is in the starting lineup, along with Ecuadorian attacker Valencia.

Chelsea has Yossi Benayoun on the bench, who recently returned from injury.