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Premier League

Manchester United v West Ham: Wayne Rooney has a 'chance' of being fit for Premier League encounter against Hammers

United manager David Moyes has confirmed that the England international suffered a groin injury which kept him out of the League Cup quarter-final win over Stoke City

Manchester United could head into Saturday’s Premier League encounter with fellow League Cup semi-finalists West Ham without the two best strikers after Wayne Rooney joined Robin van Persie on the sidelines.

Rooney suffered a groin strain in the build-up to the 2-0 victory over Stoke on Wednesday night, with his name missing from the team sheet as Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez started in attack.

Van Persie is already on the injury list with a thigh strain which has ruled him out of action for four weeks, and Rooney could also miss the visit of the Hammers on the weekend.

When asked if Rooney will feature at Old Trafford, Moyes answered: “It's a groin strain. He has got a chance, yes.”

Rooney has been in good form this season, appearing to be returning to his best under Moyes after his public falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson, but his absence on Saturday would be a massive blow to the Scotsman’s hopes of gaining ground on the teams above him.

Following the League Cup quarter-final victory, Moyes admitted that he was pleased to see Ashley Young back on the score sheet, although conceded that he did not know it had been over 19 months since he had last found the back of the net.

“I didn't know that,' admitted Moyes, when informed about the lengthy drought.

“Ashley has got the ability to score and he is a good goalscorer, we see that in training. He needed the goal for himself.”

Moyes has publicly confirmed in the past that he has spoken to Young about his issue with diving, having been singled out in the past for criticism from home fans as well as those of the opposition.

But the United manager was quick to praise the Englishman yesterday, claiming that he did exactly what was needed in opening the scoring with a fiercely hit shot from outside the area.

“I have spoken to Ashley and I have said, make sure you do everything right. Tonight he did,” lauded Moyes.

“He got kicked a few times and he went down, but he got back up and got on with it. He has shown he can come in and make an impact. That is what I need.

“We have got a lot of competition in wide areas at Manchester United, and a lot of players we can select from. If you want to get regular outings you need to score and you need to play well.”

Following the victory, the Red Devils manager looked on as his side avoided rivals Manchester City in the last four, meaning a potential all-Manchester final at Wembley on March 2. He did accept though that his side will need to be on form in both legs when they face Sunderland in the semi-final.

“Sunderland have just had a really good result against Chelsea and we are going to have play well over the two legs to get to the final,” said Moyes.

“When the draw was made it looked like Chelsea, Tottenham, maybe us, and (Manchester) City.

“But you never know in the cup competitions. We certainly won't be taking anyone lightly in the semi-final.”