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Saturday, February 21, 2009

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Wayne Rooney will start for Manchester United as the Red Devils look to extend their lead at the Premier League summit to eight points by beating Blackburn at Old Trafford.

Rooney made his comeback from a hamstring injury as a goalscoring substitute against Fulham on Wednesday and Sir Alex Ferguson intends to find out whether the striker is fit enough to face Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.

More changes are expected as well, with Ferguson set to call on Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher and Rafael, with Edwin van der Sar looking to set a new European record with a 15th consecutive clean sheet. John O'Shea (heel) is a minor doubt.

Record-breaking United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has no intention of abandoning a lifelong refusal to start worrying about what his rivals are doing.

The veteran Dutchman kept his 14th consecutive Premier League clean sheet against former club Fulham on Wednesday night.

If he keeps Blackburn out for 89 minutes of tomorrow's Old Trafford encounter, it would represent the longest barren streak in European top flight history, breaking the record set by former Club Brugge stopper Dany Verlinden in 1990.

While Van der Sar is clearly keen to maintain his staggering run, the 38-year-old is more concerned by adding trophies to his collection.

His focus this weekend will therefore be on Blackburn, not Chelsea's visit to Aston Villa earlier in the day or Liverpool's encounter with Manchester City 24 hours later.

"Footballers have to be strong," he said. "Seeing their rivals win won't stop their determination.

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