After a concerning fitness crisis earlier in the season, Manchester United’s injury list appears to be gradually levelling out, but Sir Alex Ferguson still has a few players missing in defence for the visit of Stoke.
Chris Smalling (metatarsal) will face a late fitness test to determine whether he can be involved on Saturday after missing the opening two months of the season, while Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic (both knee) are still about a month away from returning.
Like Smalling, Ashley Young (knee) could be in contention to make his first appearance since August 25, but a start looks unlikely.
Coming into one of their most challenging matches of the season, Stoke have almost a full squad to pick from with very few players unavailable for Tony Pulis.
Michael Owen had been struggling with a knock recently but is expected to be available for selection, while Glenn Whelan (hamstring) is a little more doubtful and his fitness will be determined on Friday.