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Owen set to start

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23 Sep 2009 08:44:20

Owen set to start

DERBY match-winner Michael Owen could lead United's kids as they start their defence of the Carling Cup against Wolves tonight. Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson last week revealed the free transfer striker will have to be patient after starting just once - against Burnley - so far this season. Fergie explained Owen's limited appearances were down to the fact United were not yet into the weekend-midweek-weekend match schedule - and that Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov needed time to gel as a partnership. However, matches are starting to pile up and Owen, who has had 74 minutes on the pitch in four substitute appearances, scoring twice, is set to start against Wolves at Old Trafford. He could be partnered by Federico Macheda, with 19-year-old Mancunian Danny Welbeck pencilled in for the right-wing berth. The two youngsters have not featured this campaign after breaking through last season. Welbeck appeared in all rounds of the Carling Cup last term, including starting the Wembley final against Spurs. Macheda made a stunning impact with a match-winner against Aston Villa last spring. The 18-year-old Roman, however, has recently come in for criticism from Italy Under-21 coach Pierluigi Casiraghi for his attitude. "He needs to grow a lot, both on the pitch and off it, if he wants to remain a part of this squad," said the ex-Chelsea striker. "As a player he has many qualities, but they are yet to be expressed fully. "If he wants to be a football player, then that is a fun job, but he needs to learn to be a real professional. “At the moment, that is not the case with Macheda. I say this above all in his own interest. An 18-year-old boy has to throw himself around and give himself completely to the cause.” Fergie has also made it plain to the teenage strikers that only hard graft will pay off now that they are finally back at Old Trafford following so many international calls. “I think that they are away that much with the youth squads, they have forgotten where their real place is,” he said. “I have also made them aware that you have to work to be successful. “Welbeck has been called away so much with every single England squad, I don't know if he is our player or theirs and Macheda has been away with Italy youth teams.” “He is in every squad that is picked. The only squad he has not been in is the full squad. “Macheda has been away with Italy youth teams all the time. He has hardly been with us.”


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