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Rooney a major doubt for Anfield trip

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Wayne Rooney remains a major injury doubt for Sunday's trip to Anfield to face arch-rivals Liverpool.

• Jon Carter on Liverpool v Man Utd

The United striker has been sidelined with a calf injury since England's World Cup qualifier in Ukraine a fortnight ago and is unlikely to recover in time.

Ferguson still harbours a slim hope that Rooney will feature but his star forward faces a fitness race along with Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher.

"On the injury front I can't give a clear picture, there are still some doubts about Rooney and Fletcher," Ferguson said.

Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs is poised to return after suffering a knock in last week's defeat of Bolton Wanderers and Patrice Evra has overcome a heel problem.

Liverpool go into Sunday's match having lost four games in a row - the clubs worst run of form in 22 years - but Ferguson said that will count for little when the two arch-rivals clash.

"Derby games are derby games and anyone can win it," Ferguson said. "It has happened so many times and strange things can happen.

"I am not interested in their league form, I am more pleased with the kind of form we are in. We are consistent and consistent is important."

With Liverpool's star duo of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard unlikely to be fit for the United match, a loss this weekend could prove terminal for manager Rafa Benitez's ambitions on Merseyside.

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