Robin van Persie set to start as Manchester United seek reaction to Everton loss

Dutch striker likely to spearhead home side's attack against in-form Fulham at Old Trafford

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is looking for a swift response from his side to their defeat at Everton when they take on Fulham at Old Trafford today.

United went down 1-0 in their Premier League opener at Goodison Park on Monday night thanks to Marouane Fellaini's second-half header. It was the first time in eight years that the Red Devils had lost their opening league fixture of the season and they now face a Fulham side who last weekend started superbly by thrashing Norwich 5-0.

Ferguson is mindful of the west London club's threat, but is demanding nothing less than a positive reaction from his team – and is confident they will deliver.

"I went to see Fulham last Saturday and they played very well," Ferguson said. "It's a club that's grown tremendously since Roy [Hodgson] got them to the [2010] Europa League final.

"The place is buzzing with a full house every week and there's a good atmosphere around the place. They have a lot of experience in their team. It won't be an easy game, but we're at home and we need to make an impact quickly after losing on Monday night, and we expect that."

Robin van Persie came off the bench to make his United debut in the Everton match and the Netherlands striker – signed for £24m last week from Arsenal – looks set to be promoted to the first XI, with Ferguson saying there was "every chance" he could start against Fulham.

The manager also confirmed Van Persie's Dutch compatriot and fellow recruit, full-back Alexander Büttner, will be involved, most likely starting on the bench, and that he will once again be without the defensive quartet –Phil Jones (back), Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling (both foot) and Rio Ferdinand (leg) – that were unavailable for the Goodison Park contest, although Jones has now returned to training.

Büttner, whose move to United from Vitesse Arnhem was confirmed on Tuesday, is the fourth new arrival of the summer at Old Trafford following the signings of Van Persie and midfielders Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa, while United also announced this week that striker Angelo Henriquez is to join them from Universidad de Chile having been granted a work permit.

Ferguson said United will not be buying any more players in the current transfer window after a deal for Chilean 18-year-old Henriquez is tied up in the next few days.

"We definitely won't be buying anyone else, that is for sure," he said.

Striker Dimitar Berbatov and winger Nani have been linked with moves away from Old Trafford and asked if there would be any likely departures, Ferguson said: "There is no movement I can tell you about, to be honest.

"There is only a few days left now until the deadline and that will pass quite quickly I would imagine."

Ferguson signed Büttner as back-up to Patrice Evra. "We've been monitoring Alexander for a while," Ferguson added. "He's a straightforward attacking, quick full-back who will be a terrific addition to our squad. Patrice is in his thirties now, although he is still a fit lad. Alex gives us a good back-up and a good challenge for that position."

The 23-year-old, who was unveiled yesterday, said: "I feel good. It's a dream for me to play for a big club like United. I can't wait to play for the team and let people see what I can do.

"I know I have to wait for my chance. I can learn so much from Patrice and cannot wait to play with him. It's a nice club, everyone has helped me settle."