Rooney and Owen poised for run-out
Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen have both been included in the squad for Manchester United's friendly against an Irish League XI at the new Aviva Stadium tonight.
Although Sir Alex Ferguson has opted to rest a number of senior players following the recent tour of North America, including Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Edwin van der Sar, the presence of the high-profile forwards will generate plenty of interest in Dublin.
It will be Rooney's first appearance since his disappointing FIFA World Cup™ campaign. For Owen, it marks the start of his comeback following the hamstring injury he suffered during his goalscoring contribution to the Red Devils' League Cup final triumph over Aston Villa at Wembley in February.
With record signing Dimitar Berbatov and new arrival Javier Hernandez also in the squad, it is by no means certain the one-time England international colleagues will be paired together by Sir Alex Ferguson, although it is an important evening for both men.
After returning late to training following South Africa 2010 duty, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung and Nemanja Vidic, who is on the brink of signing a lucrative contract extension, make their first appearances of a truncated pre-season that reaches its conclusion in Sunday's Community Shield showdown with Chelsea.
Patrice Evra was absent as he only returned to training yesterday.