MANCHESTER: Robin van Persie could make his first start since February against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as Manchester United attempt to consolidate their place in the Premier League’s top four.
Dutch striker van Persie came on as a substitute in United’s 3-0 defeat by Everton last Sunday, his first appearance after suffering an ankle injury, and is in contention to face the Baggies at Old Trafford.
United could be without captain Wayne Rooney after he suffered a knee injury at Goodison Park, which would increase the prospects of van Persie or Radamel Falcao playing in attack for United.
Van Persie, 31, has scored 10 goals in 25 league appearances this season but only two of those strikes have come in 2015.
As well as questions over Rooney’s availability, United manager Louis van Gaal has concerns over the fitness of three defensive players. Holding midfielder Michael Carrick, and centre-backs Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones all missed the match against Everton and are doubts for the visit of West Brom.
United’s defeat at Everton followed a 1-0 loss against champions-elect Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their previous outing.
United need six points from their final four matches to guarantee a top-four finish and defender Chris Smalling was confident the players would respond well after their two recent defeats.
“We’ve got four big games now in which we’ve got to make sure we are better than on Sunday,” said Smalling. “We’ll be eager to put this right. I think we’ll see a different Manchester United against West Brom.”
Johnson determined Liverpool finish with flourish
Glen Johnson has said Liverpool will strive to end the season strongly despite their hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s top four being all-but extinguished.
“Every team wants to finish as high in the Premier League as possible,” said right-back Johnson. “We’re all professionals. Otherwise we would not be at a club like Liverpool. We’ve got four more games to concentrate on to try and get a few more points. That’s what we will concentrate on doing.”
EPL: Saturday’s fixtures
Leicester v Newcastle
Aston Villa v Everton
Liverpool v QPR
Sunderland v Soton
Swansea v Stoke
West Ham v Burnley
Man United v West Brom
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2015.
Like Sports on Facebook, follow @ETribuneSports on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ