United’s Rooney out of Liverpool clash
United’s Rooney out of Liverpool clash
Rooney injured a knee ligament in training and missed United’s holiday fixtures against Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic as well as their FA Cup draw at West Ham United.
“Wayne Rooney is still out,” Ferguson told reporters. “I am hoping he will start training today actually, in which case he won’t be far away. I don’t think it is an issue, but we need to guide him along.
“In terms of the injury he had, it’s quite straightforward so if he starts today, I assume he will be available for Wednesday’s replay (against West Ham).” United winger Nani and midfielder Anderson will both return to the squad for Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford.
“Nani is back in training and will be included in the squad for Sunday.
“Anderson has been back training for 10 days now so he will be in the squad for Sunday. All in all it is quite a positive situation. It’s good to have them back.” United lead the Premier League by seven points from local rivals Manchester City after 21 games, while Liverpool are 14 points further adrift in eighth place.
The fixture, however, remains as important as ever, according to Ferguson.
“The derby game against Liverpool never changes,” he said. It’s always an immensely important game — intense, emotional. We are going into the game in reasonable form.”
Ahmed defends Pakistan squad as ‘best of the best’
- Fawad Alam is a seasoned player, but the players we selected are also equally good and have been scoring continuously as well, says Pakistani skipper
- Former test opener Ramiz Raja claims there are flaws in Alam’s batting technique
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has defended the 16-man national squad for tours of Ireland and England as the “best of the best” despite criticism over the omission of batsman Fawad Alam.
“It’s not like I voted him (Alam) out,” Ahmed said on the last day of Pakistan’s training camp in Lahore on Saturday, adding that “I would have picked all the 25 ... but we had to pick the best of the best 16 players.”
Wasim Akram was among several former Pakistan test players who have criticized selectors for ignoring Alam in the middle order — especially since Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan have now retired.
Alam was among 25 players called up for the camp after scoring consistently on the domestic circuit, but he failed to make the final squad.
Former test opener Ramiz Raja claimed there were flaws in Alam’s batting technique and that he would not have considered the left-hander, considering the tough conditions in England.
Ahmed played down the dispute.
“People can make as much reasons to talk, but there is nothing like flaws in anyone’s batting technique,” Ahmed said. “If you look back, Fawad had played a test in 2009 and he is a seasoned player ... (but) the players we selected are also equally good and have been scoring continuously as well.”
Ahmed said it had been a “unanimous decision” by coach, captain and selectors.
Pakistan has included uncapped batsmen Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali in the final 16, as well as Fakhar Zaman, who has done well in limited-overs cricket but is yet to play a test match.
Misbah and Younis will be missed on a tour of England where Misbah scored a century at Lord’s in 2016 and Younis made 218 at The Oval in the fourth test to draw the series 2-2.
Pakistan has two four-day matches against Kent and Northamptonshire before meeting Ireland in a one-off test at Dublin, starting May 11. It plays two tests against England, starting May 24.
Pakistan will also play Scotland on June 12-13 in two Twenty20 Internationals.
Pakistan faced a major blow when its premier legspinner Yasir Shah was ruled out due to injury. However, Ahmed said he wasn’t sure that Shadab Khan, who has played just one test match, would make it to the final team with the English conditions more suitable for pace.
“The weather will be much cooler and I am not even sure if we are going to play a spinner,” Ahmed said.