Manchester United will need new
signing Robin van Persie to shoulder the goal-scoring burden
when they travel to promoted Southampton in the Premier League
on Sunday without the injured Wayne Rooney.
Former Arsenal striker Van Persie scored on his first start
for United in the 3-2 comeback win over Fulham last weekend and
manager Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with the way the Dutchman
linked up with fellow new signing Shinji Kagawa who was also on
"I was pleased with both of them. It's early on and they'll
have a better understanding as time goes on," said Ferguson.
Substitute Rooney suffered a deep gash to his thigh against
Fulham and the England striker remained in the headlines this
week as British media speculated the 26-year-old could be on his
way out of Old Trafford after being left out of the starting
"Read the nonsense in the papers and heard what people have
to say," Rooney said on Twitter. "Absolute rubbish. Here to
United, who started the season with a defeat at Everton,
could welcome back Jonny Evans after injury to ease their
problems in defence.
Southampton have been thrown in at the deep end in their
first top-flight season since 2005 having opened the campaign
against champions Manchester City.
They gave City a scare before losing 3-2 and have yet to
pick up a point from their two games.
Fifth-placed City host Queens Park Rangers again on Saturday with the Londoners having a different look to the team
that conceded two stoppage-time goals in May to hand their
opponents the title after a busy time in the transfer market for
manager Mark Hughes.
QPR suffered a 5-0 home drubbing by Swansea City on the
opening day before drawing 1-1 at Norwich City last week.
"It's important to remember there are a lot of new faces in
this team," striker Bobby Zamora told the club website.
"We are not all going to click straight away, it's not going
to be perfect from the get-go."
City drew at Liverpool last time out courtesy of a defensive
error from Martin Skrtel which allowed Carlos Tevez to score his
100th goal in English football but it left manager Roberto
Mancini conceding there was room for improvement.
"We lost two goals from free-kicks so I think we need to
improve," the Italian said.
"We are not 100 percent for many reasons, for this it is
important we didn't lose this game."
Liverpool's Turkey playmaker Nuri Sahin could make his debut
in Sunday's home match against Arsenal.
Sahin, on loan from Real Madrid, was not registered in time
for the Europa League play-off against Hearts on Thursday.
"We'll assess the player and I'm sure he'll be involved in
the squad at the weekend," manager Brendan Rodgers said.
European champions Chelsea, top of the table with three wins
from as many games, are not in action this weekend because they
play Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup on Friday.
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