Manchester United are obviously a shadow of their former selves, but a trip to Old Trafford can still potentially prove a bit of a test. It’s fantastic news, therefore, that Wayne Rooney will be absent for our trip up to Manchester, with the Red Devils captain set to miss around two months with a knee injury, as reported by The Telegraph.
Rooney missed his side’s midweek Europa League fixture against FC Midtjylland, and his absence has now been explained. The England international suffered knee ligament damage ahead of the game, and will now be unavailable for a number of key fixtures.
United under Louis van Gaal have struggled hugely, and already looked set to miss out on top four this season. Rooney’s resurgent form has been a shining light for them recently though, and if anyone was going to cause us problems it seemed likely to be him. So the fact that they’ll be without him is a huge boost for us, and will certainly give us the upper hand at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal is already a little short in the forward department, with Memphis Depay struggling for form, and their striking options somewhat limited. Jesse Lingard’s progression has helped, but the manager will still have very limited choices.
It seems probable that we’ll see a forward line of Depay, Lingard, and Anthony Martial. And while that’s not exactly a terrible lineup, it makes them very predictable and we can hopefully prepare for them more easily.
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We should be getting the win over Man United anyway given their form this season, but Rooney’s injury gives us that little boost that should ensure we get all three points.