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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

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Mar 3, 2009

Rooney fit to play against Newcastle

Wayne Rooney has shaken off a virus and will play in Manchester United's trip to Newcastle United on Wednesday.

The striker missed Sunday's Carling Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur due to illness, but has trained on Monday and Tuesday and could renew his partnership with Dimitar Berbatov up front.

Sir Alex Ferguson said on Sky Sports News: "He's fine. He trained yesterday, he trained today and he will be available for tomorrow."

John O'Shea is United's only injury worry for the game after the versatile Irishman was substituted in the Carling Cup final due to an ongoing heel problem.

"We took him off on Sunday as he's still got a problem with his heel," said Ferguson. "It settled down after a day or so, and we will put some new insoles in his boot to see if that helps.

"He should be okay and, other than that, everyone is fine for tomorrow and we look forward to a very tough game."

Berbatov, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Park Ji-sung are all expected to return to the United team, with Ferguson admitting the Wembley pitch had an impact on the players who faced Spurs.

He added: "It was a heavy pitch, surprisingly heavy. You associate Wembley with a fantastic playing surface, but as you all saw, it was heavy and it was greasy with players slipping a lot.

"It took its toll on the players, we had tired players by the end of the match, but we have some freshness tomorrow.

"We've got Dimitar, we've got Michael Carrick and Anderson, who didn't play a full game. We've got Darren Fletcher, Ji-sung Park and Wayne Rooney, so we're not so bad."

One player who won't get a game is Carling Cup hero Ben Foster, who will be dropped. Although the 25-year-old's reward will be a place on the bench as United look to consolidate their position, seven points ahead of Chelsea, with a game in hand, as record-breaking Edwin van der Sar returns.

''Edwin will play tomorrow night,'' said Ferguson. ''It is not easy and after watching Ben's performance on Sunday, it would seem a bit unfair.

''But, as I have said, the future is Ben's and in the end there will be a competition between him and Tomasz Kuszczak when Edwin finally decides to hang his gloves up.''

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