Wayne Rooney is doubtful to start for Manchester United as they host Sunderland at Old Trafford.
As the long season draws to an end, Manchester United’s injury list has also been trimmed down significantly. The biggest concern for Ryan Giggs ahead of this match against Sunderland is the fitness of Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United manager has revealed in his pre-match press conference that some of the first team players have had a ‘bug’ – including Wayne Rooney and Anders Lindegaard. The England international is also said to be recovering from a groin injury and is doubtful to start against Sunderland, despite his willingness to play.
“A few of the lads have had a bug, Wayne has and Anders [Lindegaard] has too. Wayne also has a tight groin. You have to be careful with the bug because the immune system is down a bit but Wayne, being Wayne, wants to play. We’ll monitor it over the next 24 hours.” – The Manchester United manager said.
The good news for United fans is the possible return of Dutch striker Robin van Persie. The 31-year-old forward has suffered an injury-laden season so far and has made only 17 starts in the league this season. However, Ryan Giggs has revealed that van Persie, whose last appearance for United was in the 3-0 win over Olympiakos in the Champions League, has looked good in training – although he isn’t sure about his availability for today’s fixture.
“Robin has been back training this week and has looked good. Whether tomorrow is too early, we’ll just have to see how he goes today. He has looked really good this week.” – Giggs added.
Right-back Rafael remains the only other injury concern at the moment.
Ryan Giggs is unlikely to make drastic changes to the starting line-up that won so convincingly against Norwich in the last game – except for two. Jonny Evans is likely to return to the center of the defense alongside Nemanja Vidic as Rio Ferdinand drops back to the bench. In attack, Juan Mata, who scored a brace after coming on as a substitute against Norwich, will replace Antonio Valencia in the starting line-up. If Wayne Rooney fails the late fitness test, he is likely to be replaced by Javier Hernandez in the side or Giggs could put Mata in a central role with Valencia retaining his place on the wings. We could also see Robin van Persie making an appearance from the bench in this game.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): De Gea (GK); Jones, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Mata, Rooney, Kagawa; Welbeck