Football Programmes Centre

Rooney returns to action to hand LVG a much needed boost
England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney played an hour for United’s under 21 side on Monday night as he steps up his recovery from injury. Rooney has missed his clubs last twelve games following a knee injury picked up in a defeat at the Stadium of Light, but will be looking to get back on track with the summers European Championships on the horizon. Louis Van Gaal's men face a season defining FA Cup quarter final at West Ham on Wednesday, with Rooney given an outside chance of some involvement by his manager.

In what has been another frustrating campaign at Old Trafford, as they find themselves fifth in the Premier League with just six games remaining, the FA Cup could well provide Van Gaal with the last hope of securing his position in the United hot seat for another year. Jose Mourinho has been constantly linked with the position in recent months, with bookmakers Coral offering odds of 1/4 on for the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss to be at Old Trafford come the start of next season.

Having salvaged a draw in their first encounter with the Hammers, a trip to East London does certainly not provide the easiest of encounters for United. They will be looking to offer significantly more than they did in London this past weekend, where they went down 3-0 to title chasing Tottenham. The return of Rooney could well prove to be the catalyst for an upturn in fortunes for United, and with last minute bets proving to be fruitful so often this season, a flutter on his side reaching the semi finals may not be the worst idea. United are 7/2 second favourites to go all the way this year, behind Everton.

Phil Jones was another man in action on Monday, with the England defender playing the full 90 minutes after a return from injury himself. Despite an injury hit season, the former Blackburn Rovers man is still offered odds 11/8 with Coral to force his way into England contention come the summer. With the like of Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcus Rashford covering for their more senior team mates over recent weeks, Van Gaal will be grateful to add some more experience to his side over the remainder of the season.
Continue