MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — New recruit Juan Mata will make his Manchester United debut against Cardiff City in the English Premier League at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The Spanish playmaker completed his £37.1million transfer move from Chelsea on Monday and United manager David Moyes says he will make his debut, as the Premier League champions look to push on in their quest to secure a top four place.
“Juan’s not too far away from [full] fitness,” Moyes said on www.manutd.com. “I know he has missed a few games and maybe not started quite as many games as he’d have liked, but I’d like to get him involved against Cardiff.”
Moyes also confirmed that strikers Robin van Persie (thigh), Wayne Rooney (groin) and Marouane Fellaini (wrist) have all return to training on Monday and are in line to feature in the game as well.
“It’s a big night for Manchester United supporters,” the boss told reporters. “Robin and Wayne have both trained today.
“We are hoping at some time to get them available for the game.”
The game will also see former Manchester United forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returning to Old Trafford as boss of Cardiff City and Moyes says the United icon “will get a great reception.”
In Cardiff team news, Solskjaer is reporting no new injuries, but defenders Matthew Connolly and Andrew Taylor continue to be out with ankle problems.
Full-back Fabio is expected to join from United and striker Kenwyne Jones from Stoke, but pair are not expected to feature.
Chelsea beat Manchester United 3-1 in their last English Premier League, game, while Cardiff City were beaten 4-2 by Manchester City.
Manchester United (from): De Gea, Lindegaard, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Jones, Evra, Buttner, Valencia, Fellaini, Fletcher, Giggs, Cleverley, Young, Kagawa, Januzaj, Mata, Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck, Van Persie.
Cardiff (from): Marshall, Caulker, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Cornelius, Campbell, Brayford, Kim, Smith, Eikrem, Noone, Gunnarsson, Mason, McNaughton, Theophile-Catherine, Lewis, Bellamy, John, Daehli.
Referee: Craig Pawson. Assistants: D Cann, M McDonough. Fourth Official: H Webb.