Angel di Maria was passed fit to face Liverpool last weekend

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Manchester United Angel di Maria was declared fit to face Liverpool last weekend, despite widespread reports to the contrary.

Di Maria failed to feature in a 3-0 win for the Red Devils over their bitter rivals from Merseyside, although that was a decision taken by Louis van Gaal and not the club's medical chiefs.

Van Gaal ultimately decided he wasn't prepared to gamble on his £59.7 million star's long-term fitness, but Argentine newspaper Ole has been at pains to make it clear in a fresh report that Di Maria had recovered sufficiently from a hamstring injury to be considered for the Liverpool game.

Van Gaal's decision was the right one

Ultimately Van Gaal was proved right in not handing Di Maria an instant recall, with United stretching their impressive winning run to six matches despite the continued absence of a key man.

A full-blown injury crisis during the first half of the season has likely led to Van Gaal's cautious approach, but Ole think that Di Maria is firmly on track to make his return against Aston Villa this weekend.

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What about Rojo?

Di Maria's international team-mate and club colleague Marcos Rojo was also not risked against the Reds, after picking up a fresh injury problem in training 

Rojo's absence saw United go with a back three of Michael Carrick, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones against Liverpool, with Van Gaal's hand forced by a lengthy list of absentees that seems to chop and change every single week.

Ole believes that both of Van Gaal's Argentine superstars want back in his starting XI against Villa on Saturday, but it remains to be seen if the experienced Dutch tactician is prepared to change a winning team, even if either is at something approaching 100% fitness.

One game a week helping matters

There's no question that United are benefitting from not playing in Europe this season, giving a battered and bruised squad just one game a week to focus on and prepare for.

Despite some pretty average displays since Van Gaal took over at Old Trafford home fans are finally starting to see the silver lining in that disappointing Champions League absence, with the likes of Robin van Persie and Antonio Valencia improving as the campaign has gone on.

Rojo and Di Maria will hope to make similar strides when called upon, which if reports in Argentine are to be believed will be much sooner than many observers may have predicted.

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Manchester United
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