Robin van Persie became the second Manchester United striker to pull out of midweek international duty in the space of two days – with the Premier League leaders visiting Carrow Road on Saturday.

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A thigh strain has seen Van Persie withdraw from the Netherlands’ group that faces Germany in a friendly at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday.

He joins Wayne Rooney on the sidelines, who pulled out of Roy Hodgson’s England squad for their trip to Sweden on the same night.

Van Persie played the full 90 minutes as United hit back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa on Saturday evening, but will not now be available for Holland action.

Rooney’s withdrawal on Sunday night was more expected, given the striker limped off after 79 minutes at Villa Park with an ankle knock following a block tackle from Matthew Lowton.

There is a chance England’s star man will not make United’s visit to Carrow Road – although that may not unduly concern Alex Ferguson, who suggested the match-winning efforts of substitute Javier Hernandez over Villa will earn him a start against the Canaries.

But it would be more of a surprise if Van Persie – who has started the Red Devils’ last seven Premier League fixtures and scored eight goals in the process – was absent from Ferguson’s starting XI for Saturday’s tea-time clash at Carrow Road.

Danny Welbeck is the only other recognised striker at Old Trafford with significant top-flight experience. He will be away with Hodgson’s men for tomorrow’s friendly in Stockholm.

Midfield duo Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young are also away with England this week, while Patrice Evra will travel to Italy with France and Darren Fletcher will feature in Scotland’s friendly trip to Luxembourg.

It means seven of United’s 18-man squad from Saturday will either be away on international duty or injured ahead of their game against Norwich.

City’s tally is four, including John Ruddy with England, Alex Tettey expected to join up with Norway in Hungary, Steven Whittaker on Scotland duty and Wes Hoolahan finally being given his chance with the Republic of Ireland as they host Greece.

United’s game at Carrow Road kicks off a run of four games in just 11 days, including a Champions League trip to Galatasary – although United have already booked their qualification as group winners.

13 comments

  • Fergie isn't playing mind games with us.. He's a reknowned hater of international friendlies. RVP will play come Sat, with Hernandez. I've lost count of the amount of times a Man Utd Arsenal Chelsea etc player is 'injured' for a friendly, only to appear at the weekend, perfectly fine...

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    Eddie

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Yes, I remember that all too well, Abraham. Poor defending at the post was a feature last season. Hopefully, the new-look defence will put that right. It`d be great to avenge that defeat. We deserved something from both games last time out but got nowt.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • But will be nicely rested and ready to play on Saturday..

    Report this comment

    billythebookie

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • RVP + Rooney have just asked for a transfer to Norwich. Man City's owners are selling up + buying NCFC from Delia + 1p5wich will be promoted as Champions......well you started it Brew !

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • With Welbeck & Hernandez as back up, I think our defence will still have their hands full!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Usually they play come the weekend, however if they aren't, we have a red hot, pacey Hernandez to deal with. I really think we're going to give a Man Utd an unsettling if not frustrating afternoon, just hope we have enough about us on the counter not to get hemmed in.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Fair enough, Timbo. But it`s so obvious that even TB badgerbilly could see it. Now we`ll ALL be proved wrong when it`s announced that RVP is out for the rest of the season and Roo wants to join ManC again, leading to his being ostracised by Fergie.. That leaves us with the soft challenge of Hernandez & Welbeck. Doddle.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • So - the mind-games begin !

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • I am hoping that City get a 93rd minute winner, just to erase the memory of gigilo Giggs from last season.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • I don't usually agree with Billy the Baloney, but I fear he's right on this occasion.

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Fair comment Timbo. But did you know that Delia has accepted a large juicer and a second-owner deep fat frier as payment? Good deal, Deels! We`ll miss Steven Fry and Bewilderwood, though.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Missing an international friendly isn't a reliable indicator of a real injury, especially if it's a player from a top club. Nailed-on, RVP plays at Carrow Road.

    Report this comment

    troublesome1

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • I suppose if Fergie plays mind games with us, he must be taking us seriously! We must have Holty in the starting line-up. He`ll be fully up for beating up the MUFC defence. Likewise Rottweiler Johnson in midfield. Beating up RVP is a tougher task, he`s a Will o` the wisp. Maybe Whittaker has the class to neutralise him? Go on Naaridge, beat the odds! No meek surrender. Show no respect. They don`t like it up `em Cap`n Mainwaring..... Shock 2-1 win for City; Holt scores first, MU equalise thro`...RVP and Snods scores very late winner. Hmmm, the medication`s kicking in! Duff beer......

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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