Wayne Rooney Manchester United
Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney is a slight doubt for the English Premier League game against StokeReuters

Manchester United  will be without one superstar for their English Premier League match against Stoke City, but Louis Van Gaal could start with another as the former champs look to pick up their fourth straight league win on Tuesday.

Angel Di Maria is almost certain to miss out against Stoke after injuring his hamstring in the 3-0 win over Hull City, an injury which forced him off after just 13 minutes.

"Angel shall be out for Stoke, I think," said Van Gaal after that match on Saturday.

While Di Maria, who it must be said, has been a little off colour after his spectacular start in the Premier League, will watch from the stands, the other high profile signing of the summer could be in line for his first start in a while.

Radamel Falcao finally made his return from a calf injury in the win over Hull, playing the last 20 minutes. The Colombian hitman has struggled to get a run of games going to find his goalscoring groove, but he could come in for Di Maria on Saturday, or even Robin Van Persie or Wayne Rooney, if Van Gaal decides to either go with three strikers or rest one of the latter two.

With the festive season kicking in, games will come thick and fast and Falcao will certainly have the opportunity to find the "match rhythm" that Van Gaal feels his striker needs.

"He was not fit to play 90 minutes, but for 20 minutes OK," van Gaal was quoted as saying by Sky sports. "I can use him because now he has trained for a full week with the first team.

"He needs match rhythm."

Wayne Rooney also picked up a knock against Hull, but Van Gaal expects his in-form captain to be fine and ready for the Stoke challenge.

"He said he would be fit for Stoke," said the Manchester United manager when asked about Rooney's injury. "I hope he is because he is in great form."

Jonny Evans could make a return from a long-term injury after returning to training and playing in an U-21 match, but the other defenders – Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Daley Blind all remain sidelined.

However, the way the Manchester United defence have performed over the last few games, Van Gaal will be more than happy to go with the same personnel, in what promises to be a bruising Premier League encounter against Stoke.

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