English Premiership

United suffer Nani blow

2013-12-20 18:33
Nani (AFP)

London - Manchester United will be without Potuguese winger Nani for the next few matches due to a hamstring injury, manager David Moyes said on Friday.

Nani has not featured since the home defeat by Newcastle on December 7 and has recently been linked with a move to Juventus.

"Nani has a hamstring injury which is a little bit worse than we thought," said Moyes. "He is probably going to be missing for a few weeks."

He joins an injury list that already includes Robin van Persie, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick.

Wayne Rooney is also a major doubt for Saturday's encounter with West Ham as he tries to overcome a groin strain, although Moyes is not ruling him out.

"He has a chance," said Moyes. "We will see how he is tomorrow."

The United manager has been buoyed by the players who have come into the side in his star players' absences with Danny Welbeck and Jonny Evans particularly impressive for the champions.

"The players that have come in have done really well," he said. "We have a big squad here and you need extra players and it has been seen in recently we have been short in areas, but the players that have come in and done well."

United face West Ham knowing they have lost their last two home games in the Premier League - against Everton and Newcastle - but Moyes insists that he does not feel Old Trafford is a hive of tension now after those recent results.

"I've never found Old Trafford nervy," Moyes said. "I've not found it nervy at all, I found it the opposite actually. The fans have been great. But we accept that we have to get winning and score a few more goals at home."

The Premier League now comes into the busy period of Christmas in Britain with teams playing fixtures within the space of 48 hours.

Moyes accepts that the festive football calendar is a big part of the game in England but believes the authorities should sort out a winter break for teams after January.

"We get asked that question every year and I don't know how much it matters by answering it," Moyes said. "I always thought the first week after January would be a good time to have a week off. Those of us with families would love the Christmas period off but of course you come to accept that working in football you have to work at Christmas.

"A week off after January would be good for the players and would give everyone, the staff and supporters, a good break."

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis said on Thursday that he is interested in bringing Wilfried Zaha back to the club on loan in January.

Zaha has yet to start a Premier League game for United since his 15million (18 million euros, $24.5 million) move to Old Trafford but has made two substitute appearances in recent weeks with the injury problems at the club.

But Moyes is not sure if he will allow Zaha to leave the club on loan yet.

"I will look at Zaha when we get into January," he said. "He has been in and around the team in recent weeks because of the injuries so we will have to see."

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16 April 2014
Manchester City v Sunderland, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 20:45
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
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