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Premier League

  • November 20, 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 74181

Premier League Preview: Manchester United - Wigan Athletic

Premier League Preview: Manchester United - Wigan Athletic

Wayne In The Frame

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 Theatre 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.


Manchester United

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

Wigan Athletic

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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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
21Rafael SilvaMidfielder
15Nemanja VidicDefender
5Rio FerdinandDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
25Gabriel ObertanStriker
27Federico MachedaStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
6Jonny EvansDefender
16John O'SheaDefender
11Ryan GiggsManager/Coach
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
2S. GohouriDefender
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
13Steven CaldwellDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
-Ronnie StamDefender
20H. ThomasMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
12Mike PollittGoalkeeper
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
16James McArthurMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
-Mauro BoselliStriker
15Callum McManamanStriker
9Franco Di SantoStriker
Players to Watch
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Since he inked his new contract, Rooney has jetted off to Dubai and Portland, United States. He is now set for home turf in front of an audience unlikely to greet him with his accustomed acclaim.

United have clung on in the title race without their misfiring star. A return to goalscoring form would prove both club and player are back firing on all cylinders.
Victor Moses
Victor Moses
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Tom Cleverley's ineligibility and James McCarthy's injury has opened the door to the ex-Crystal Palace star. Although yet to set the Premier League alight, last week's winner against West Bromwich Albion could be invaluable at the end of the season.

United have looked vulnerable out wide due to Patrice Evra's tough start. Moses could find himself on the scoresheet for consecutive matches.
United have dominated Wigan in recent seasons and there's no hint this run is about to end. Expect Rooney to prove his commitment to the supporters with a flurry of goals.
Editor's Prediction

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