The 29-year-old missed their 3-1 victory over Liverpool with a hamstring problem, and the Dutchman doesn’t want to take the risk of playing him Tuesday. Rooney and new signing Anthony Martial are the only natural centre-forwards in the Red Devils’ squad, and a long-term injury could be very damaging to the team.
“I don’t think he should play Tuesday, we don’t want to take any risks with our captain but you never know,” said van Gaal, “It’s Saturday and we still have Sunday and Monday.”
After their group stage match with PSV, United play Southampton and Sunderland in the Premier League before a tough run against Arsenal, Everton, and Manchester City. They will want the England skipper to be fit for those games, hence resting him now for a match in which they are overwhelming favourites.
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Rooney played no part as the Old Trafford outfit beat fierce rivals Liverpool on Saturday. Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Martial scored the three goals, with the latter particularly impressive on his debut for the club. Having been bought for £36 million there was a lot of pressure on the 19-year-old, but he lived up to expectations with a brilliant strike.