Rooney faces battle for start
Wayne Rooney cannot be certain of his place in the Manchester United starting line-up against Tottenham, let alone his status as penalty taker. The England striker failed from the spot for the second time this season on Wednesday when he blazed a second-half effort over in the FA Cup win over West Ham. It led to former skipper Roy Keane claiming the responsibility would be taken away from him by manager Sir Alex Ferguson, with 21-goal Robin van Persie the most obvious replacement. However, having only just recovered from the knee injury he sustained in training on Christmas Day, and with Ferguson aware he usually needs a few games to recover match fitness, Rooney has no guarantees about even starting at White Hart Lane. "We have to think about it," Ferguson told MUTV of the penalty conundrum. "I am not going to make a rash decision. "We will see how Wayne has come through first. He will be involved at Tottenham but whether he starts or is on the bench, we have to make that decision. "Once we do that we will know who is going to be taking the penalties." That sounded very much like Rooney being on the bench this weekend, as even if he played, Van Persie surely will become the favoured penalty expert. Having already won at Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City this season, United are looking to claim another notable away win.