Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has paid lip service to the obvious talents of Ravel Morrison and suggested the prodigiously gifted young midfielder could play in Wednesday night's Carling Cup quarter final.

Manchester United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Wednesday and Ferguson has confirmed his intention to make wholesale changes to his side, with Morrison in particular pressing for a starting berth having been in the squad for their Champions League game against Benfica.

The Scot has generally been tight-lipped about the hugely discussed Morrison in the past, but he was happy to acknowledge the Manchester United starlet's talents. The 18-year-old is one of the most talked about young players in English football but has been plagued by a spate of unsavoury off field headlines. Despite his well-documented personal problems, Ferguson suggested the attacking playmaker was one of a number of his young players who could take on Palace in two days' time.

"There will be complete change (from the side that drew with Newcastle United on Saturday)," The Manchester United boss told the club's official website.

"Just the same as we had at Leeds and Aldershot.

"Ravel Morrison was in the squad for Wednesday's game [against Benfica]. He's a very, very talented boy, of course, and he'll possibly be on the bench, at least, in midweek.

"But I've got other players needing a game like Mame Biram Diouf and Federico Macheda.

"All the younger players [will come in] - Zeki Fryers, the two Da Silvas [Rafael and Fabio] are possibles.

"The only area where I've got problems is centre midfield. It's possible I could play [Paul] Pogba in there but we'll wait and see. I've got enough players to choose from, that's for sure."

Ferguson recently revealed six of last season's Youth Cup winning side were impressing their claims for a first-team call-up, providing a brief insight into Manchester United's meticulous handling of their young players.

"The monitoring system here is good and there's a lot of consistency with our Academy staff," The Manchester United manager told the new edition of Inside United.

"These are guys that have been here a long time and know what to look for. When somebody like Paul McGuinness comes to me and says: 'He's a first-team player', then I know to keep a special eye on the player.

"From there, we'll bring the boy into first-team training for a couple of sessions. That's what we're doing at the moment with Paul Pogba, Ravel Morrison, Jesse Lingard, Zeki Fryers, Larnell Cole and Michael Keane. They're all training with the first team at the moment.

"That allows me to see how they cope playing against seasoned professionals, it lets me judge their temperament."