Bastian Schweinsteiger could be handed his first Manchester United start, with manager Louis van Gaal also offering an update regarding the fitness of defensive duo Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo before the upcoming Premier League clash against Newcastle United.
Germany captain Schweinsteiger was hailed as one of the signings of the summer after swapping Bayern Munich for Old Trafford in a deal worth £14m ($22.5m) in July but he only featured as a second-half substitute during recent Premier League victories over Tottenham and Aston Villa.
He also had to wait until half-time before replacing an under par Michael Carrick during United's 3-1 victory in the first leg of their Champions League play-off round tie against Club Brugge on 18 August, although Van Gaal hinted the influential World Cup winner could continue to deputise alongside fellow new recruit Morgan Schneiderlin for the visit of Steve McClaren's side.
"Yes, of course," he told the club's official website during a weekly pre-press conference briefing when asked if Schweinsteiger, who was sidelined for a total of seven months during his final two seasons in the Bundesliga, was fit enough to start.
"It's a matter of time. Maybe it shall happen tomorrow. You never know. I think he can still do better because when you are not fit enough then it is difficult to show your highest level. But I think it's also a matter of time and we have seen a solution in rotating our [second] captain, Michael Carrick, with Schweinsteiger. I think it's a very good solution because we can spare them both for the big moments."
Marouane Fellaini unavailable after red card
Van Gaal has no new selection worries to contend with following a Memphis Depay-inspired success over 10-man Brugge, although the man who settled a few nerves late on with United's third goal – Marouane Fellaini – is unavailable as he serves the final match of a three-game domestic ban handed down after the red card he received for a nasty challenge on Paul McShane during the final outing of the 2014-15 season at relegated Hull.
Jones remains the only real injury absentee after he was found to be suffering from thrombosis by a club doctor earlier in August, but it appears that the 23-year-old's recovery is progressing at a rapid rate. The United manager said: "It's still the same. Only Jones is ill, but it's getting better with him. He's already running on the pitch. It's not bad. Rojo needs match fitness, yes."
With Jones ruled out for a minimum of three weeks and Rojo still not deemed fit enough to feature after helping Argentina to the final of the 2015 Copa America in Chile, Van Gaal has opted to partner the versatile Daley Blind with Chris Smalling at centre-back of late.
Although this initially caused a certain amount of trepidation among supporters, the Netherlands international has yet to be overly tested and looks likely to retain his place as Newcastle seek to capitalise on the disappointment surrounding the botched deal for Pedro and end a run of three straight defeats against United.
McClaren, who recently sanctioned the sale of midfielder Mehdi Abeid to Panathinaikos, will definitely be without Daryl Janmaat after the right-back was sent off for two yellow card offences during the first-half of a 2-0 loss at Swansea after being given a torrid time by tricky winger Jefferson Montero.
Florian Thauvin could be in line for a Newcastle debut after joining from Marseille, although Moussa Sissoko is a doubt having sustained a grade one groin strain and been substituted at half-time in south Wales.