Manchester United could have two key players returning for the crunch match against Chelsea at the weekend as they attempt to keep pace with neighbours Manchester City.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful that Wayne Rooney and Nani could both return to the first team squad after missing the last two matches against Liverpool, a 2-1 loss in the FA Cup to Liverpool, and Tuesday nights win over Stoke.
The pair are close to retuning to full fitness and could feature at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, along with Ashley Young who is also nearing a comeback after months on the sidelines.
“We’re hopeful Wayne Rooney, Nani and possibly Ashley Young will be fit for Sunday,” Ferguson told MUTV.
Ferguson saw his side draw level on points with Manchester City, who lost 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park, at the top of the Premier League after the victory over Stoke and he revealed his delight at the teams performance.
“It’s a good night for us, of course,” Ferguson declared on MUTV. “But what I’m most pleased about is our own performance. I thought our football was terrific. We kept our composure, we were very patient. Okay, we won with two penalty kicks but I think the manner in which we played our football was the most important thing.
“It’s still early doors [in terms of the title race]. It’s only the last day in January. I always say that March is a very important month, as well as the beginning of April. We play Manchester City in April, for instance.”
United have a pivotal few weeks as they play Chelsea, followed by a home match against Liverpool, before a trip to Ajax as they look to progress in the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League.