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Weekend Premier League predictions

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Fergie: Rooney missing due to groin injury

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney picked up a groin injury while on international duty with England last week but is expected to be fit for the derby with Manchester City next Monday, according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Rooney, 27, was left out of United's squad for the 1-0 victory at Sunderland on Saturday, while he was also missing for Monday's FA Cup quarter-final replay against Chelsea.

Having been dropped for the Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid last month, there were rumours that the former Everton man had suffered a similar fate this weekend.

Ferguson, however, confirmed to ITV Sport on Monday prior to the FA Cup clash that Rooney was missing due to an injury he sustained while playing in England's 1-1 draw with Montenegro last week.

"He got a groin injury playing for England and wasn't 100% yesterday and there's no point risking players with groin injuries because it could exacerbate itself and he could be out for weeks," Ferguson said.

"So hopefully he'll be ready for next Monday's game.''

United can extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 18 points with victory over their local rivals at Old Trafford next week.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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