David Moyes has revealed that there is a good chance that Wayne Rooney will start at Old Trafford on Monday night, against the team with which he has been linked throughout the summer. Rooney has been the subject of two rejected bids from Chelsea and their boss Jose Mourinho has suggested that a third will be forthcoming after the two sides meet in the first heavyweight clash of the new Premier League season. After the unsettled forward came off the bench in the champions’ opening league win against Swansea City last week, Moyes has suggested that he has no problem handing Rooney a start against a team it is believed he wants to join.
"Wayne's got a good chance of playing. He has good chance of starting," he said, according to Manchester United’s official website.
Meanwhile, Moyes has hinted that Rafael, Nani, Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez are again set to miss out.
"Rafa picked up an injury in the Community Shield game so we've lost him for three or four weeks," he explained. "We have one or two coming back from injury -- the likes of Nani, Ashley Young and Chicharito. They're still recovering.”
“So we've got two or three coming back from really the effects of not having a proper pre-season because they came back from international duty a bit late. Hopefully they'll all not too far away now.”
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Chelsea are again likely to be without Brazilian defender David Luiz, who Mourinho confirmed has still not returned to full training. He could, instead, make his return in the European Super Cup on Friday against Bayern Munich.
With Mourinho’s interest in Rooney well known, doubt has been cast about Chelsea’s existing trio of strikers -- Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba. After Torres started their opening win over Hull City, Ba was given the nod in Wednesday’s victory over Aston Villa. As things stand, there doesn’t appear a clear first choice, with Mourinho explaining that he is working to keep all three happy.
“Fernando Torres had a short pre-season and he was my choice to play the first match, and he did his job well,” Mourinho said, according to Chelsea’s official website.
“For the second match because I knew it was the type of match when I needed a better defensive balance on the bench, I decided to have one striker on the pitch and one on the bench. So I started with Torres one match, and I started with Ba the second one and I had Lukakau never starting but playing in both matches, and it is part of my job to keep them motivated so I try to motivate them.”
Manchester United (probable)
G: De Gea
D: Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
M: Carrick, Cleverley
Valencia, Welbeck, Giggs
F: Van Persie
D: Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole
M: Ramires, Lampard
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick-off at 3 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by NBCSN, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.