Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Nani and Andersonwill return to Manchester United's squad for Sunday's Premier League match with Liverpool. Nani has been sidelined since the beginning of November with a hamstring injury while Anderson has been absent since he reported a hamstring problem in early December. However, Wayne Rooney definitely misses out because of his knee problem.
"Nani is back training and Anderson has been back for 10 days. They will be in the squad," confirmed Ferguson. "But Wayne is still out. He will start training today [Friday]. He is not far away and should be available for the FA Cup replay with West Ham on Wednesday." Nani missed 14 games during his spell out injured, while Anderson was out for eight games.
Sir Alex will choose his team carefully on
the back of a hectic December. Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra
are certain to be rested, while Robin van Persie, who has played
in more matches (21 starts, four substitute appearances) than any other
Red, may too be given an afternoon off. Shinji Kagawa is in line
to start, as is Tom Cleverley, and changes are expected elsewhere.
West Ham are likely to be without defender George McCartney midfielder
Mohamed Diame and on-loan striker Andy Carroll through injury.
Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young could return for Saturday's visit of West Brom but Sir Alex Ferguson will assess the fitness of his squad after the midweek exertions against Newcastle. The attacking pair missed out on the 4-3 Boxing Day thriller but, with Shinji Kagawa also a possible inclusion as a substitute, there should be more forward options open to the boss.
Wayne Rooney's injury is improving but he will again miss out while Ryan Giggs is unlikely to feature despite his superb second-half display against the Magpies. "I can't give you an update on the injuries as it's only two days on from Wednesday and there were issues with a soft, tiring pitch," Sir Alex said at his press conference. "We need to assess players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs as I think, at their age, it took a lot out of them. "We're hoping maybe Young will be ready and Daniel Welbeck should be ready. He was ill on Tuesday night but I think he should be okay. At least that's a couple of bodies back fresh for us. We'll just assess the rest in terms of tiredness. "All the players are key now as we're picking up one or two injuries. Rooney is out for at least another two games. He was a bit better yesterday. We're going to assess Phil Jones but I don't think he'll be ready." Shinji Kagawa enjoyed a work-out on the field before the 4-3 win against Newcastle, even though he was not part of the matchday squad. "Shinji wanted to do a warm-up and training on the pitch and he is getting close," explained Sir Alex. "I'll see what he's like today and I could maybe put him on the bench tomorrow depending on who is available. "The most important thing is to assess the tiredness and also the fitness of one or two others." www.manutd.com
Nemanja Vidic is back in the Manchester United squad to face Sunderland at Old Trafford. Vidic has been out for two months following knee surgery, which itself came just five games into his comeback after a ruptured cruciate. Jonny Evans is missing, whilst Shinji Kagawa (knee) returns to training next week.
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill could be forced into two changes at Old Trafford. Winger Adam Johnson and defender Danny Rose, who both started in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Reading, could miss out after picking up injuries during the re-arranged match at the Stadium of Light. Defender Phil Bardsley and captain Lee Cattermole are not in contention while O'Neill is hopeful frontman Steven Fletcher can shake off a niggle with his ankle.
Wayne Rooney is seeking a winning comeback with Manchester United against Queens Park Rangers after missing two consecutive defeats in the last seven days. The Reds striker missed last Saturday's trip to Norwich City with tonsillitis and while he might have been rested from Tuesday's game against Galatasaray anyway, with Champions League progress already assured, he admits the second loss was also hard to take. "We were still disappointed to lose the game, even though we'd already qualified in the Champions League as group winners," Wayne said on Friday.
"Obviously last week [at Norwich] was a massive disappointment for us. After losing that one, this QPR game couldn't have come quickly enough. We're looking to get back out there in the league and try and get the three points." Rooney acknowledges the extra incentive provided by this weekend's order of fixtures, with current league leaders Manchester City not playing until Sunday when they meet Chelsea. "If we can get the three points, that will take us to the top again. It might only be for 24 hours but it's always great to be there," he contemplated, before reminding the fans it's far from a formality.
"QPR last season made it difficult for us. They went down to ten men early on and got players behind the ball and made it difficult. I'm sure it will be the same this season. "They haven't got a manager at the moment but I'm sure whoever does take over from Mark Hughes will get them organised to play that way. "We just have to work on what we think is the best way to win the game and concentrate on ourselves. I'm sure if we do that and we do that right,
Jones set for lengthy rehab. Phil Jones is set for a sustained spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a knee injury sustained in training. A club spokesperson told ManUtd.com: "Phil Jones has had surgery on a knee meniscus tear sustained in training that will require six to eight weeks of rehabilitation."
The 20-year-old has yet to make an appearance this season after suffering a back injury during the Reds' pre-season tour. Fellow defender Chris Smalling remains sidelined after breaking a metatarsal, but Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand have recently bolstered the Reds' defensive ranks after returning from their own injuries.
Manchester United have made their move for teenage Chilean forward Angelo Henriquez amid interest from arch-rivals Manchester City. Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to have targeted the Universidad de Chile youngster after losing out on Eden Hazard and Lucas Moura during the current transfer window. But Henriquez has also attracted the attention of City after scoring an impressive 11 goals in just 17 league games this year for the Chilean top-flight club. He is currently in Europe with Universidad's youth team and Ferguson has taken the opportunity to meet with the 18-year-old in an attempt to convince him to make the switch to Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson has made direct contact with his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger as he looks to try and force through Robin van Persie's move to Manchester United. The Daily Mail also reports that United are set to launch an improved bid for the Dutch forward. It looks increasingly likely that the 29-year-old will be plying his trade at Old Trafford next season, with some reports claiming a deal could be struck by the time the new Premier League season kicks-off this weekend. According to the Sun, the two clubs are set to compromise with a £22 million deal.
Sir Alex Ferguson insists Dimitar Berbatov has not been unfairly treated at the club, praising the "fantastic talent" of the striker whom he expects to be involved in their pre-season tour. The Bulgaria international has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford for several months having fallen down the pecking order last season. There were murmurings of discontent from the 31-year-old, who scored nine times in just 21 appearances in the previous campaign - despite being the league's joint top scorer the year before.
But Ferguson has defended his handling of Berbatov, and he told MUTV: "I don't think I treated Dimitar unfairly but he can feel disappointed that he didn't get more football. He's a fantastic footballer. It wasn't a great season for him last season, partly because I settled more with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck...and Chicharito (Javier Hernandez)." He added: "He's a fantastic talent. Nothing has happened with Dimitar and he'll join the tour to South Africa and China."