MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager David Moyes is hopeful Wayne Rooney will have recovered from a groin injury in time to face West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday. Rooney, 28, missed United’s 2-0 win at Stoke in the League Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday, but Moyes is desperate for the England forward to be fit to face the Hammers as he tries restore the champions to the Premier League title race. United are already 10 points adrift of leaders Arsenal heading into this weekend’s fixtures and, with Robin van Persie out for a month with a thigh problem, Moyes needs Rooney, who has scored 10 goals so far this season for his club, to climb off the treatment table.
Meanwhile, Ashley Young is hoping his first United goal since May 2012 will give him a chance of starting against the Hammers. The England winger had been exiled by Moyes after a lacklustre start to the season, but he lashed in a fine second-half strike at Stoke to help United on their way to the last four. Patrice Evra also got on the scoresheet against Stoke, but the French left-back insists he has to maintain his defensive performances rather than worry about getting on the scoresheet. United midfielder Michael Carrick will miss Saturday’s game as he recovers from an Achilles problem with Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic also a doubt for Moyes’s men.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s midweek 2-1 victory at Tottenham in the League Cup quarter-finals gave Sam Allardyce’s team a welcome lift after a disappointing run of results in the league. The Hammers are just one point clear of the bottom three and, having lost four of their previous five games, their confidence had slumped before the win at White Hart Lane. But Matt Jarvis, the scorer of the first goal against Tottenham, believes the London derby success can have a knock-on effect in the league while demonstrating the players are fully behind Allardyce.
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