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Sunday, May 23, 1999 Published at 07:48 GMT 08:48 UK

Sport: Football

Treble beckons for the Reds

Teddy Sheringham celebrates his opening goal at Wembley

Manchester United are now 7-4 on with the bookmakers to become the first English side to win an incredible treble.

June Kelly reports: "The treble is within their grasp"
They are already English Premiership champions, they have the FA Cup and are flying out to Barcelona on Monday to play in Wednesday's European Cup final.

William Hill acted within seconds of United's FA Cup Final victory over Newcastle, slashing the Red Devils' odds from 5-4 to 4-7.

Hills say bookies stand to lose about £10m if United pull off the treble.

Alan Green reports for BBC Radio 5 Live
The game started poorly for United with their inspirational captain, Republic of Ireland international Roy Keane, substituted after 10 minutes with an injured ankle.

But a minute later they were ahead. United boss Alex Ferguson had gambled by replacing Keane, a midfielder, with a striker and it paid off handsomely.

Scholes made it safe

Substitute Teddy Sheringham played a neat one-two with Paul Scholes and finished by tucking it under the body of Steve Harper.

Alex Ferguson says he is not worried about leg-weariness after Saturday's exertions
Scholes made the game safe in the 53rd minute and Dwight Yorke, Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had further chances to score. Sheringham also hit the bar.

Having won the English Premiership title the previous weekend United have now won the double three times in six years.

Now they go for the big one on Wednesday in Barcelona.

[ image: Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld holds the German championship shield]
Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld holds the German championship shield
If United beat Bayern Munich - who they have met twice this season in two drawn Champions' League matches - they will become the first English side to manage the treble.

Liverpool came closest in 1977 but ironically on that occasion they were pipped by United, who beat them at Wembley.

Butt likley starter

There was no doubt that Ferguson had his mind on the Nou Camp match on cup final day on Saturday.

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs says they will wait until after Wednesday to celebrate
He rested Yorke and Jaap Stam - who both came on as second half substitutes - and there was not even a place on the bench for Nicky Butt, a likely starter on Wednesday.

Apart from Keane, who is already suspended from the European Cup Final, United came through the game without any serious injury worries.

Butb United will be without Scholes, who is also suspended.

[ image: Borussia Dortmund's European Cup success was overseen by Hitzfeld]
Borussia Dortmund's European Cup success was overseen by Hitzfeld
Ferguson believes Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is a kindred spirit. Hitzfeld masterminded Borussia Dortmund's victory over United in the 1997 Champions' League semi-finals.

Borussia went on to beat Juventus in the final.

Drew in group stages

Ferguson says of Hitzfeld: "He's a fantastic manager and also a very, very good man, a real gentleman and I admire him greatly.

"He is very focused as a manager and a bit like myself in that he gets agitated at times. Yet off the field he is very calm and controlled."

United and Bayern met in the group stages when they drew 2-2 in the Olympic Stadium before a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Ferguson said: "I thought in the game in Munich that we were the better team.

"I thought the game at Old Trafford was very, very even with Bayern showing more experience than us for a good part of the match.

"Hopefully we have improved enough to make a difference."

Call for good game

Butt could be given the task of restricting Bayern playmaker Stefan Effenberg.

Ferguson says: "I think Bayern's players of influence are Matthaus and Effenberg and I think they are who we need to concentrate on.

"There's a history of European Cup Finals being 1-0 or settled on penalty kicks over the last decade and a half.

"I hope Manchester United and Bayern will elevate themselves above that to produce a good game of football."

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