Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Rooney eyes Upton return

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will keep a close eye on Wayne Rooney’s progress before his team’s Barclays Premier League match against West Ham.

The indications are that Rooney is nearing full fitness again after a five-match absence with a hamstring injury.

The England striker suffered the setback in the victory against Wigan three weeks ago. But he could be in line to face the Hammers on Sunday, providing he puts in the minutes on the training ground in the coming days.

French defender Patrice Evra is also set to be fit for the trip to Upton Park, following an ankle injury suffered against Chelsea a month ago.

Nani is another player who could come into contention, after suffering a groin injury against Derby in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg victory.

Former United star Paddy Crerand believes the ball is firmly in his old club’s court as they aim for a third successive title.

He was also pleased to see Chelsea defeated by Liverpool at the weekend.

"Liverpool winning didn’t bother me," Crerand said.

"I would have preferred a draw. But the one thing I didn’t want was a Chelsea win, because they are a bigger threat. Chelsea are a better all-round side than Liverpool.

"I honestly don’t think Liverpool are a threat in the title race.

"The threat to United now is United themselves. Injuries and things like that are the only problem now. I fancy United strongly to win the league."

Liverpool could go top, though, on Saturday when they face a Portsmouth side that has not won in the league since November 30.

Upton Park has also proved a difficult venue for United over the years.

Crerand added: "I think West Ham will be a very difficult match - it always is there."

United’s attractive Champions League game against Inter Milan at the 80,000-capacity San Siro on February 24 is a sell-out.

The Italian club have confirmed they sold the remaining tickets for the first leg of the last-16 clash against the defending champions within two hours.

Inter also announced the tickets allocated to them from United for the return leg at Old Trafford on March 11 have been sold.

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