Manchester United go into Sunday’s game at Aston Villa desperate to bounce back from two straight home league defeats.
The champions somewhat made amends for quick-fire 1-0 losses to Everton and Newcastle United with a victory by the same scoreline over Shakthar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday evening to seal top spot in Group A.
An unlikely defeat by three or more goals will see Villa leapfrog them into ninth place, and also give Swansea City the chance to move above them should the win at Norwich City.
Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick have both been ruled out with back and Achilles injuries respectively, while Robin van Persie has been side-lined for up to a month with a thigh injury.
While the news of the Dutch international’s absence would usually lead to talk of potential transfer targets for the club, Friday’s reports were largely focusing on forwards moving out of Old Trafford.
Chelsea manger Jose Mourinho has refused to comment on whether he will make a fresh move for Wayne Rooney when the transfer window reopens, according to ESPN.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan are set to make a move for Javier Hernandez, and will offer a part-exchange deal involving Colombia international midfielder Fredy Guarin, the Telegraph understands