Thursday 23 November 2017

Owen poised for recall as bruising rules Welbeck out of climax

Mark Ogden

Danny Welbeck looks set to miss Manchester United's final two league games of the season, but the forward remains on course to make England's Euro 2012 squad after a scan dispelled fears that he suffered a broken leg during Monday's 1-0 defeat against Manchester City.

Welbeck (pictured below) left the Etihad on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right leg. The injury followed a heavy challenge by City midfielder Nigel de Jong.

The tackle sparked a touchline confrontation between United manager Alex Ferguson and City counterpart Roberto Mancini.

Welbeck, who completed the game, told team-mates that he feared the worst over the injury. But a scan yesterday morning revealed only heavy bruising.

If Welbeck is sidelined, Ferguson is likely to turn to Javier Hernandez and hand a squad recall to fit-again Michael Owen.

Meanwhile, David Silva claims the victory against United has given City the psychological boost to take a further step towards winning the title with victory at Newcastle on Sunday.

Clinch

City's win moved them to the top of the table on goal difference, ensuring they will almost certainly clinch the title if they win at Newcastle and at home to QPR.

"Beating United is an important moment for us psychologically because we knew we had to win this game," Silva said. "The Newcastle game is like a final for us now. We have to win it. We are ready to win the title.

"We beat United so we don't need to think them now. We've passed that mental stage. They are a great team and they have been winning and winning and winning, but we are here to make things difficult for them."

Since losing 1-0 at Arsenal on April 8, City have erased United's eight-point lead.

Over the past three weeks, Mancini insisted that the title was in United's hands, lowering the expectations on his team. But Silva insists that the City players always believed that the title could be won.

He said: "I am surprised to see United taking an eight-point lead and then giving that up, but don't forget that we had a massive lead and we lost it too. There was never a point when we totally gave up on the league, but we did get to a point when we knew it was very difficult." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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