Wayne Rooney will miss this weekend’s upcoming Premier League match with Newcastle and his status for Wednesday’s Champions League second leg against Bayern Munich is in serious doubt.
The English international star picked up an injury in the first leg against the German giants, and the severity has yet to be determined.
United manager David Moyes called the injury “touch-and-go” and said more tests are needed to indicate whether the toe is bruised or if Rooney has possibly picked up a much more serious hairline fracture.
The injury is a massive blow to the Red Devils, who are all but out of the race for the Premier League’s top four, but grabbed a positive 1-1 draw with Bayern in the first leg and had hopes of a monumental upset for next Wednesday’s reverse fixture.
Instead, they may have to trudge on with their best player in the treatment room.
Rooney has dealt with the occasional groin or hamstring knock this season, but has largely avoided anything serious thus far.
“There is not an awful lot you can do with a toe injury,” Moyes said in his pre-match presser ahead of the Newcastle game. “Sometimes you can feel better quite quickly with them and sometimes you need an injection possibly to play with it if it is bruising.”
Moyes will likely turn to Danny Welbeck in Rooney’s place. The 23-year-old has started 13 times in the Premier League campaign, and started on the wing in the first leg against Bayern, playing 85 minutes.
The injury could also give Shinji Kagawa more playing time, a positive for United against their Champions League foes. Kagawa has never lost to Bayern in his professional career, and was positive in his substitute appearance in the first leg. With Welbeck possibly moving up front, Kagawa could take his place on the wing. Another option is leaving Welbeck out on the touchline and sliding Javier Hernandez into the striker slot.
It isn’t Dortmund, but that’s a good thing for Liverpool.
Our own Joe Prince-Wright was on the scene for Jurgen Klopp’s unveiling as the latest Reds manager, and the 48-year-old German had a lot to say.
Perhaps most poignant for Liverpool fans are Klopp’s words on the talent he inherits from Brendan Rodgers. Sure there are quips that will hit the headlines, but how about Klopp’s assertion that success shouldn’t take nearly as long as his dramatic work at BVB.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“We did in Dortmund what we had to do, to improve the players, to work for a common idea of play. That is what we did and its the same thing we want to do here. They are not the same players of course,” Klopp told NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk. “These players from Liverpool are better, more experienced in some ways and younger in other cases. Everything is okay, I am here. I am not here only because LFC was calling. I believe in the potential of this team. Four or five strikers you can work with when they are not injured, midfielders is really good, defenders experienced and very young, goalkeeper is really good. Everything is there.”
Everything. A powerful word and one that doesn’t get lost in translation. Liverpool has a batch of world class talent, and Klopp’s is anxious to organize it in world class fashion. Strap in, Anfield.
So here we go: the biggest rivalry in U.S. Soccer, the one that sends fans racing for the stadia for a glimpse of history.
It’s the U.S. and Mexico for the right to go to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, and it will play out at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.
National pride is on the line, and national jobs may rightly be in jeopardy. Let’s swing through our coverage, and what’s at stake in just over 24 hours time.
Who is the key to Saturday’s match? Is it Michael Bradley? Fabian Johnson? Andres Guardado? Will Klinsmann opt for players with Liga MX experience, stay Euro Heavy, or appease the domestic set? Read more here.
So how will Klinsmann line ’em up? JPW has his preference, some options, and a prediction of what the manager will do.
What are the chances this one finds its way into the upper echelon of matches in the Mexico/U.S. rivalry? This is the company it could join.
The folks in the anti-Klinsmann brigade seethe with pure detestation of the USMNT boss. Any quote from him is self-serving and dishonest, any success accidental. Beat Germany or the Netherlands in friendlies on the road? Coincidental and Unimportant. Lose a friendly to Brazil? The worst thing ever.
[ MORE: The case for firing Klinsmann after a loss ]
So this match, being meaningful and testing his unbeaten mark vs Mexico, is going to be a clarion call for U.S. Soccer fans. Barring a cataclysmic loss in horrific blowout fashion, he won’t be canned. But a win will be validation for his supporters while a loss would cue a genuine hot seat. And for his detractors, already foaming at the mouth from the words of icon Landon Donovan? Kablammo.