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Manchester United strike duo Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie could return for the crucial Capital One Cup showdown with Sunderland on Wednesday night.
The Red Devils head into the second leg of the semi-final knowing they must overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg at the Stadium of Light two weeks ago.
United fell behind to a Ryan Giggs own goal on Wearside before pulling level through captain Nemanja Vidic’s header on 52 minutes.
However, Gus Poyet’s men sealed victory thanks to a penalty converted by on-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Borini – although the decision to penalise Tom Cleverley for a challenge on Adam Johnson was arguably a harsh one by referee Andre Marriner.
United boss David Moyes was without Rooney (groin) and Van Persie (thigh) for the first leg but both could be ready to step back into the match-day squad even if they do not make the starting side.
However, Moyes will be without suspended centre-half Vidic following his red card against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the weekend after the Serb’s claim for wrongful dismissal was rejected by an independent regulatory commission on Tuesday.
Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher looks set to play after a recent Achilles problem while Poyet has also included Argentina internationals Santiago Vergini and Oscar Ustari in his travelling party.
The winners will progress to the Capital One Cup final in March where Manchester City await following their 9-0 demolition of West Ham over two legs.