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Manchester United will be without Wayne Rooney for their Bank Holiday meeting with Middlesbrough.

Rooney fractured his metatarsal during Saturday's 3-0 humbling at Chelsea and will be out for six weeks.

The England international's absence means United will start with Louis Saha and Ruud van Nistelrooy in attack for the visit of the Uefa Cup finalists.
Victory for United would likely secure second spot in the table and automatic qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League group phase.

But Ferguson will surely demand an improved performance from the one at Stamford Bridge which allowed Chelsea to canter to victory and back-to-back Premiership titles.

Mikael Silvestre's place at left back could be under threat after a sloppy display against The Blues. Patrice Evra will hope for the call, although Gabriel Heinze is also pressing for a game.

John O'Shea and Ryan Giggs are likely to continue in central midfield due to the lack of other options, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Park Ji-sung will be expected to deliver more from the flanks.

Wes Brown will be hoping for a recall to the United team as he looks to make a late push for a place in England's World Cup squad.

Boro boss Steve McClaren will ring the changes yet again as his side prepare for their third game in five days.

For Saturday's defeat at home to Everton, McClaren made nine alterations to the team which had beaten Steaua Bucharest in the Uefa Cup on Thursday.

McClaren must decide who to leave out with the European final against Sevilla at the forefront of his thinking and Gareth Southgate is unlikely to play.
Mark Viduka and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink are also unlikely to be risked, so Malcolm Christie could keep his place, while Danny Graham is pushing for inclusion.

Lee Cattermole came off the bench against Everton and could start at Old Trafford as McClaren looks to youth for the final games of the Premiership season.

Skysports.com Prediction: 2-0
United to capitalise on Boro's inexperience.
Player to watch: Louis Saha.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--VDS--
--Neville--Rio--Brown--Heinze--
--Park--O'Shea--Giggs--Richardson
--Saha--Ruud--


Bench:
Howard
Vidic
Rossi
Fletcher
Ronaldo

Yahoo! Sports said:
Manchester United strike duo Ruud van Nistelrooy and Louis Saha will almost certainly be paired in attack at home to Middlesbrough on Monday.United host Boro at Old Trafford looking for the victory required to seal the runners-up spot in the Premiership.

With Wayne Rooney definitely missing following the foot injury he picked up in Saturday's defeat at Chelsea, Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to choose both the men who have been vying for a place in United's starting line-up recently.

The Red Devils boss expects to have Gabriel Heinze available after a minor groin strain and, after Mikael Silvestre's poor performance at Stamford Bridge, the Argentinian could start, although Patrice Evra is also a possibility in the left-back role.

Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Howard, Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Vidic, Pique, Silvestre, Heinze, Evra, Ronaldo, Giggs, O'Shea, Richardson, Park, Saha, van Nistelrooy, Rossi.
 

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I would like to see a strong team to start with, and should we get a good lead, then bring on some of the kids and give them some well needed experience.
 
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I think that United will get back to winning ways in this game, i think that Middlesbrough will be thinking of the UEFA Cup Final so we can get the three points.
 

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This is a visit of a strong Boro side. They have reached the final of the EUFA Cup the hard way and will be riding on air. United still need to make absolutely sure of second place and nothing short of a victory will suffice. I see no material difference with Rooney missing as I have faith in Saha but we need to be on our guard. Heinze may well figure at some stage tonight I am pleased to say.
 
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0-0 draw, disappointing result, so we'll have to beat Charlton on Sunday to finish second more than likely.
 
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Ruud missed a penalty. That said the whole story to be honest. It was a weak Boro side and we should have destroyed them but we couldn't. It was the replica of the Sunderland game.
 

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Yeah, another terrible result for us. This puts us under ENORMOUS pressure going into our game with Charlton, and this gives the scousers a lot of hope that they might be able to sneak up behind us and get that vital second postion.

Ruud has been rusty for a while now, and leaving him on the bench will be doing him no good and he showed that last night.
 
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