Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Bench duty for Rooney?

Wayne Rooney is expected to feature against Swansea

Wayne Rooney is expected to be on the bench when Manchester United face Swansea in David Moyes' first Premier League game as Red Devils manager.

After coming through his 65-minute appearance for England in midweek, Rooney has not been affected by the hamstring and shoulder problems that prevented him from playing any part in United's pre-season.

It was automatic, therefore, that Moyes would have Rooney on the plane to south Wales on Friday afternoon.

Given Rooney exceeded all England boss Roy Hodgson's expectations during the week, it cannot entirely be discounted that Rooney will start at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

However, with Danny Welbeck in goalscoring form for England in midweek and Robin van Persie netting twice in Sunday's Community Shield, Moyes does have alternatives in attack.

And that is likely to mean Rooney is among the substitutes, having not started in the Premier League since the draw at Arsenal on April 28.

Rooney has played in both United's previous visits to the Liberty Stadium, which have yielded a win and a draw.

But while Moyes has a better record there, given Everton won comfortably on both their visits without conceding a goal, the Scot is wary of the Swans.

After all, he has already "had a moan" to the Premier League about United's tough start, according to chief executive Richard Scudamore, and Swansea benefit from two Europa League workouts against Malmo.

"It's a very tough away fixture," Moyes told MUTV.

"Michael Laudrup has done a really good job there and strengthened the team a lot this summer.

"I would expect Swansea to have another season as good as last year and they've already had a couple of European games as well which gives them the feeling they are a little more match-ready.

"But we feel we're getting ready as well. The only real injury we've had is to (full-back) Rafael, who looks like he will be out for four to six weeks with a hamstring."

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