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Ashley Young set for Manchester United return

ESPN staff
October 19, 2012 « Ferguson: Rio will wear Kick It Out shirt | Chartbeat test »
Ashley Young has barely featured for Manchester United this season © Getty Images
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Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed on Friday that Ashley Young will be in Manchester United's squad for the Saturday visit of Stoke.

Young has not featured since United's first home game of the season, when they beat Fulham at Old Trafford. A knee problem has kept the winger sidelined, but he will return this weekend.

United are currently second in the Premier League table, four points off leaders Chelsea, but they should also have a 100 per cent fit Wayne Rooney to bolster their ranks, despite the forward being substituted due to tiredness while on England duty.

"Everyone came back from the internationals fit," Ferguson said at Friday's press conference. Also Ashley Young is fit. Chris Smalling is not quite there but is making progress.

"Young gives us another option. As I've said many times over the last few weeks, the strength of our squad is the attacking options we have and we're getting better with Darren Fletcher coming back which has been terrific for him and for us.

"There has been some progress with players like Nick Powell, who is progressing well, as is Tom Cleverley and Anderson is getting better all the time so all the fears about the midfield positions are evaporating quite well.

"I wouldn't say Young has been forgotten. It's always the same when a player gets injured, he's not there so they can be out of people's minds. Young has shown his qualities.

"Very few players can cross the ball as well as he can and his goalscoring ratio is very good for us. Didn't he get 11 goals for us last season? For a wide player that's very good. I don't think you can underestimate that or forget it. I think any player coming to our club with ability and who also had a good record at Aston Villa will have the determination to do well."

United host a Stoke side who have drawn five of seven matches this season, with their only loss coming to league leaders Chelsea, who scored five minutes from full-time.

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