Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Dutch striker Robin van Persie was unexpectedly omitted from the Manchester United squad for their Champions League Group A game at home to Real Sociedad on Wednesday.
He completed the full 90 minutes in United’s 1-1 draw at home to Southampton in the Premier League last Saturday, but was not even named in the squad for the visit of the Basque side.
United manager David Moyes explained that Van Persie had been complaining of niggling injuries and was being rested with a view to this Saturday’s home game with Stoke City.
“He has two bad toes and has been complaining about his groin, so we took the chance to rest him and get him ready for the weekend,” Moyes told Sky Sports.
“We’ve got a big squad and players who are fresh.”
Javier Hernandez took Van Persie’s place at the tip of the United attack, in one of four changes to the team held by Southampton.
Real Sociedad, meanwhile, restored captain Xabi Prieto to the starting XI after he made his comeback following a lay-off with a hamstring injury in the weekend victory at Valencia.
United top the group with four points from their opening two games, while La Real have yet to pick up a point in this season’s competition.