Ryan Giggs in line for emotional start against hometown club Cardiff City
David Moyes set to turn to Cardiff-born Old Trafford icon for first ever game against the Bluebirds as injuries hit his midfield options ahead of Cardiff City Stadium clash
Ryan Giggs is in line for an emotional start against hometown club Cardiff City this weekend after Manchester United were plunged into an injury crisis just days before the champions’ clash with the Bluebirds.
Cardiff-born Giggs, who turns 40 later this month, has been restricted to just 180 minutes of Premier League action this season as he undertakes an incredible 24th season at the top of the game.
But United boss David Moyes looks set to turn to the Premier League legend to solve a midfield headache – meaning Giggs will face his hometown club for the first time in a peerless 23 year career.
Moyes will be desperate for three points at Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday as he looks to keep pace with Premier League leaders Arsenal after a slow start to the season, but he will have to cope without a string of central midfield options.
The Scot – who replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as Red Devils chief at the start of the season – was already without key man Michael Carrick after the 32-year was ruled out for up to six weeks with an achilles problem.
But Phil Jones was yesterday confirmed as being sidelined with a ten-day absence likely after he was forced to withdraw from last night’s England friendly with Germany with a groin injury.
Jones featured in the middle for United in the 1-0 win over Arsenal before the international break, and with Belgium star Marouane Fellaini potentially going under the knife for wrist surgery and Brazilian Anderson remaining a bit-part figure under Moyes, the ex-Everton boss will look to the experience of Giggs to partner Tom Cleverley against the Bluebirds.
Wayne Rooney could be asked to play deeper for United’s first visit to Cardiff City Stadium, although Moyes has previously stressed how keen he is to stay further up the field where he has rediscovered his best form this season.
And in a career full of landmarks, it would see Giggs’ mark his 666th league game for United against the club from where he hails. Giggs has played for Man Utd in Cardiff previously, featuring in cup finals at the Millennium Stadium, while his last game in the Welsh capital was a part of the Team GB Olympic side that bowed out of the 2012 Games in a penalty shoot-out at the same venue.
Moyes is also without striker Danny Welbeck for the trip to South Wales with a knee injury, while Robin van Persie withdrew from the Netherlands squad complaining of toe and groin injuries, although the Dutch star is expected to recover to lead the line against Malky Mackay’s men.
Mackay will be tonight sweating on his own international stars coming through their respective matches unscathed, Aron Gunnarsson, David Marshall, Kim Bo-Kyung and Gary Medel expected back at the club’s training ground over the next 48 hours after being on duty for their country over the past week.