• Premier League

Rooney, Van Persie out of Chelsea clash

ESPN staff
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Manchester United strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie look set to lose their fitness battles ahead of Sunday's crucial Premier League trip to Chelsea.

According to widespread reports in the national newspapers, Rooney will struggle to play again in January - with his chances of playing in next week's League Cup semi-final second leg rated at "50-50".

The England international has been on a warm-weather break with his family in Egypt, where he has reportedly been put through his paces by United's head of human performance Richard Dawkins as he attempts to recover from a troublesome groin injury.

But the Chelsea match appears to have come too soon for Rooney, who last played for United in the defeat to Spurs on New Year's Day.

The same can be said for Van Persie, who is continuing to battle the persistent thigh problem that has kept him out since the Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on December 10.

David Moyes will provide official updates on his injured strike duo at his press briefing ahead of the Chelsea game, after a week in which he has been seen scouting players in Italy and France.

United sit nine points behind the Blues and visit West London looking to dent the title ambitions of Jose Mourinho's side, while also boosting their own hopes of finishing in the top four. Liverpool currently occupy fourth place and have a five-point lead over Moyes' side.

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