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Sunday 17 December 2017

New boys to take centre stage as United anticipation rises

Three of Manchester United's major transfer window signings are set to make their debuts as the team seek a first competitive win under Louis Van Gaal in Sunday's Premier League visit of Queens Park Rangers.

Colombia striker Radamel Falcao, a deadline day loan recruit from Monaco, Netherlands defender Daley Blind, signed from Ajax, and Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, brought in from Sporting Lisbon, are all expected to play against the promoted London club.

With Spanish defensive midfielder Ander Herrera, signed from Athletic Bilbao, also returning after three weeks out with an ankle injury, United are hoping to kick-start their season after picking up two points from three league games and suffering a humiliating 4-0 League Cup exit at third-tier MK Dons.

Club director Bobby Charlton summed up the sense of anticipation at Old Trafford yesterday.

"It's going to be a great adventure of how we pull ourselves back around," he said.

world-class

Dutch international striker Robin van Persie added: "I can't wait to train and play with the world-class players we signed...

"That feeling, that we are going to perform well, has only got stronger after the buying of players over the last weeks - I find it very exciting."

The United side is expected also to include Argentina winger Angel Di Maria, a £59.7million British transfer record signing from Real Madrid, as well as England left back Luke Shaw, signed from Southampton.

The impending unveiling of United's reshaped team for QPR's visit eased fears yesterday about the fitness of defender Phil Jones, who limped out of England's 2-0 Euro 2016 qualifying victory in Switzerland after 77 minutes on Monday evening.

Jones was due to be examined by the medical staff in Manchester.

defence

If ruled out, he is likely to be replaced by Rojo in the three-man defence used in manager Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system.

The arrival of Falcao roused most excitement. Spanish midfielder Juan Mata said the goal-scoring South American is "not just a player, but a fantastic striker whose ability to score is extraordinary.

Mata said: "I am sure he will give a lot to our group, as a person and with his goals."

United are 14th in the Premier League with two points and without a win while QPR are 12th with one win and three points.

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