Wayne Rooney: Striker absent for Manchester United as they travel to Norwich City

Rooney had been expected to start but has been left out of the match-day squad

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney has not travelled with the rest of the Manchester United squad ahead of their Premier League encounter against Norwich on Saturday afternoon.

Rooney has been United’s standout player during the first half of the season, and has provided the impetus that has been missing through striker Robin van Persie’s absence through injury.

The England international has scored nine goals in the league so far, including a brilliant volley against Hull City on Boxing Day that levelled the score at 2-2, paving the way for the reigning champions comeback victory at the KC Stadium.

The 28-year-old was expected to feature in today’s match at Carrow Road, but instead he was left out of the match-day squad with Javier Hernandez starting as the lone striker.

Young winger Adnan Januzaj, who has emerged as a potential match winner for United this season, was also left out of the starting line-up, although manager David Moyes did name the 18-year-old on the bench.

With van Persie still out injured, Hernandez will be supported by Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa, and there is a welcome return for Michael Carrick who makes his first start since the 1-0 win over Arsenal in November.

United also have Danny Welbeck and Wilfried Zaha available on the bench, although Rafael and Nani are injured and Antonio Valencia is suspended following his late red card in the victory over Hull.