Champions League: Rooney misses Eindhoven trip
Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney will miss the English club’s Champions League group match opener at PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday with new summer signing Memphis Depay looking to spark at his former club.
Rooney picked up a hamstring injury training ahead of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Liverpool and will not be rushed back by manager Louis van Gaal for the European group stage opener.
United make their return to the Champions League away to PSV in a clash which will see Dutch winger Depay return to the club he left in the summer for £25 million ($38.6m).
Depay has struggled since his arrival in United with French teenager Anthony Martial’s goalscoring debut against Liverpool on Saturday distracting from the 21-year-old’s struggles.
Depay should get a warm reception in the Philips Stadion having helped PSV to a first title win in seven years last season.
The forward was the Dutch league’s top scorer with 22 goals, but United fans are yet to see the same form of a player that shone for PSV and the Netherlands at the World Cup.
A return to the ground where Depay spent nine years could help kickstart his United career, although van Gaal could be in for a rough time from the home fans having played for and coached rivals Ajax.
Depay’s place however could be under threat following the impressive performance of Ashley Young off the bench on Saturday and Morgan Schneiderlin could come in for either Michael Carrick or Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Martial could make his his first start for Manchester United with Rooney ruled ou.
The 19-year-old, signed from Monaco on transfer deadline day for a reported fee of £36 million ($55 million, 49 million euros), stepped off the bench to seal United’s third goal in a 3-1 win.
Pressure is mounting on van Gaal to hand the youngster his first start, but the United manager could opt to protect the rising star and keep him on the bench.
English forward James Wilson and Belgian midfielder Andreas Pereira, who was also signed from PSV, have also both been added to the squad for the trip to the Netherlands.
Pereira suffered an injury while away with Brazil’s Under-23 side but is fit for selection again.
PSV coach Phillip Cocu’s side should not be under-estimated as they are top seeds in the group and have an unbeaten start to the season.
They warmed up for the clash with Luuk de Jong scoring a first-half hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Cambuur in the Dutch league at the weekend.
The sides clashed at the same stage of the 2000/2001 competition, with honours shared — United losing 3-1 on the road, turning the tables with the same scoreline at Old Trafford.
PSV gained automatic qualification as Dutch champions, while van Gaal’s United advanced through the play-off route 7-1 against Club Brugge.