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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Ferguson: Rooney won't face Liverpool

Sir Alex Ferguson has denied Wayne Rooney will make his comeback from a thigh injury against Liverpool on Sunday.

• Fergie: Give Rodgers time
• Premier League Spotlight
• Blog: The bitter taste

Rooney has been sidelined for four weeks since sustaining a gash when Fulham's Hugo Rodallega landed on him during United's 3-2 win on August 25. The striker has resumed training but Ferguson insists that last season's top scorer is not ready to return.

However, he said that United sustained no new injuries in Wednesday's Champions League win over Galatasaray.

"Everyone who played on Wednesday is available," Ferguson explained. "I know there were reports on Wayne Rooney being available but that's not the case. He is not far away, possibly the following week he will be fine. He is doing a lot of great training. He has done the hard work and now he is back into football training."

Defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are long term absentees but Ferguson had better news about winger Ashley Young, adding: "Ashley Young has a bruised cartilage - he'll be okay in two to three weeks."

Midfielder Darren Fletcher made his first appearance for 10 months as a substitute against the Turkish champions and Ferguson confirmed his fellow Scot will be in the starting 11 for Wednesday's Capital One Cup clash with Newcastle.

"He won't start on Sunday but he'll play against Newcastle; that's the perfect game for him to start," Ferguson said. "Then we have Spurs and he may be involved in that. It's going to be his first 90 minutes after 10 months out, so it is going to be a big one for him. He is handling the condition at the moment and it is a case of hoping the condition stays dormant."

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