By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Wayne Rooney is set to be recalled to the Manchester United starting line-up for Monday evening’s clash against Chelsea.
The United skipper was demoted to the substitute’s bench for the team’s 2-0 Boxing Day defeat to Stoke.
Rooney was brought on by manager Louis van Gaal at half-time in a bid to over-turn United’s two-goal deficit but was unable to drag his side back into the game.
A United source has told Football Insider that the 30-year-old is expected to be restored to the starting X1 for the pivotal Premier League match against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday.
The 30-year-old has been a virtual ever-present at Old Trafford during the last decade, with Van Gaal following David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson by selecting him whenever he is fit and available to play up until the Stoke match.
Rooney admitted in a Christmas Eve interview that he was off form: “I know that I have not been playing well,” he said.
United have lost four consecutive matches – their worst run since 1990 – to leave Van Gaal’s job hanging by a thread.
The Dutchman admitted after the Boxing Day defeat to Stoke that he would talk to the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about whether to quit as manager.