United will welcome back a host of stars from international duty today, including Nani, who played 17 minutes for Portugal in Wednesday night’s 3-0 victory over Liechtenstein.
After injuring his shoulder in Sunday’s Community Shield loss, Nani was reported by some media outlets to be expected to miss up to several weeks. But the Reds winger appears to have made a speedy recovery and could now feature in Sir Alex’s plans for Birmingham City’s visit on Sunday.
Elsewhere, United’s internationals enjoyed mixed fortunes overnight. England drew 2-2 with Holland in a friendly in Amsterdam, although it’s a night Rio Ferdinand will probably want to forget. His error gifted Dirk Kuyt the game’s opener before Fabio Capello’s men fell further behind after another defensive blunder, this time from Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry. Wayne Rooney looked sharp during his 59-minute spell, while Michael Carrick played 45 minutes after being introduced at half-time. It was another substitute, Jermain Defoe, who rescued England with goals in the 49th and 77th minutes.
Two Reds – Darren Fletcher and Patrice Evra – were involved in competitive World Cup qualifiers. In Group 7, Patrice Evra played 90 minutes as France edged past the Faroe Islands with a 1-0 win. Andre-Pierre Gignac, who some papers linked with a summer move to Old Trafford, found the net on 42 minutes.