Injury-plagued Man United hope for Rooney return
MANCHESTER UNITED manager David Moyes was hopeful Wayne Rooney would take the field to face West Ham at Old Trafford today after his groin injury.
Rooney, 28, missed United’s 2-0 win at Stoke in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday, but Moyes was desperate for the England striker to be fit to face the Hammers as he tries restore the champions to the Premier League title race.
United are already 10 points adrift of leaders Arsenal heading into this weekend’s fixtures and, with Robin van Persie out for a month with a thigh problem, Moyes needs Rooney (who has scored 10 goals so far this season for his club), to climb off the treatment table.
“Yes he has a chance to play,” Moyes said when questioned on Rooney’s fitness.
Meanwhile, Ashley Young is hoping his first United goal since May 2012 will give him a chance of starting against the Hammers.
The England winger had been exiled by Moyes after a lacklustre start to the season, but he lashed in a fine secondhalf strike at Stoke to help United on their way to the last four.
“I was delighted to get the goal, but getting through was more important,” he said.
“The boys were magnifi- cent. We showed great spirit and character and hopefully we can take that into this weekend’s game against West Ham.”
United midfielder Michael Carrick will miss today’s game as he recovers from an Achilles problem, and Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic is also a doubt for Moyes’ men.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s midweek 2-1 victory at Tottenham in the League Cup quarter-finals gave Sam Allardyce’s team a welcome lift after a disappointing run of results in the league.
The Hammers are just one point clear of the bottom three and, having lost four of their previous five games, their confidence had slumped before the win at White Hart Lane.
But Matt Jarvis, the scorer of the first goal against Tottenham, believes the London derby success can have a knock-on effect in the league while demonstrating the players are fully behind Allardyce.
“The Tottenham win could be a massive springboard for us and it’s just what we needed,” Jarvis said.
“Can we get a result at Manchester United?
“I don’t see why not. Teams have gone to Old Trafford this season and got results. They’re still a fantastic side but we can go there full of confidence after this result.” – Sapa-AFP