After World Cup 2010 misery turned into a contract spat that left bad taste in the mouth, Rooney is finally set to begin his United comeback.
While the England international has celebrated his £250,000 a week deal in Dubai and shed the pounds in Portland, United have lumbered on in the title race. After an error strewn draw against West Bromwich Albion and last-gasp win against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Theater of Dreams faithful are due to a performance.
With Chelsea now back in their sights and fresh from the last-minute salvation against Aston Villa, a victory with Rooney in the ranks could send a message to the rest of the division.
Latics To The Slaughter
It's safe to say United weren't a team Wigan enjoyed facing last term. An aggregate scoreline of 10-0 tells its own story.
Rather than accept another thumping, Martinez must buoy his troops to prove they can perform on the biggest stage. After they claimed a vital win against West Brom, spirits are sure to be high.
This turnaround in form since being in the pits in August has seen Wigan climb out of the relegation zone. An unlikely point on Saturday would continue this charge to safety.
Wayne Rooney is expected to return to Old Trafford for the first time since his dramatic contract wrangle last month.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson's camp has been swept by a virus in the interim. Anderson is still struggling to overcome the bug.
Ryan Giggs is in line to take part after a hamstring strain. Brazilian right-back Rafael Da Silva is yet to fully shake off s dead leg, but Paul Scholes is back from suspension.
Owen Hargreaves is still several weeks away after he pulled up with a hamstring injury against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Michael Owen is sidelined with the same injury.
Antonio Valencia is making progress from a broken leg and is on track to feature in February.
Probable starting XI: Van der Sar; O'Shea, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Obertan; Rooney, Berbatov
Latics boss Roberto Martinez is still without utility defender Emerson Boyce after he tore his hamstring. Playmaker James McCarthy is set to remain on the treatment table for several months after he was clattered against Bolton Wanderers.
United loanee Tom Cleverley is barred from facing his parent club.
Probable starting XI: Al Habsi; Gohouri, Alcaraz, G Caldwell, Stam; Moses, Thomas, Diame, Gomez, N'Zogbia; Rodallega
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