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Wayne Rooney will start for Man Utd in the Europa League but not against Stoke City on Sunday

Wayne Rooney in action for against Leicester City at Old Trafford
Image: Wayne Rooney won't return to Premier League action on Sunday

Wayne Rooney will not be recalled to the Manchester United starting line-up for Sunday's Premier League home clash with Stoke City.

Sky sources understand the United captain will start Thursday's Europa League tie against Ukrainians Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford before returning to the substitutes' bench at the weekend.

United boss Jose Mourinho dropped Rooney for Saturday's visit of Leicester City and watched his team thump the reigning champions 4-1..

The visit of Leicester was only the third time in four seasons Rooney had started on the bench in a Premier League game, coming on as a substitute with seven minutes remaining.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney on the Old Trafford bench with Ashley Young
Image: Rooney was on the Old Trafford bench for United's game against Leicester on Saturday

Before the game Mourinho said that the England skipper appeared to have been taken aback by the scrutiny and criticism directed at him this season.

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However, Chris Smalling has backed Rooney and claimed he remains the "main man" for both Manchester United and England.

Jose Mourinho and Wayne Rooney
Image: Jose Mourinho said Rooney appeared to have been taken aback by criticism this season

"Regardless of whatever the situation is, whatever game, whether he is on the bench or playing or whatever, he is always that same type of character and that's why he is England's main man and our main man," he said.

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