Shinji Kagawa is set to feature extensively for Manchester United during the busy festive programme.

The Japanese international has been sidelined since October after he was forced off against Braga at Old Trafford in the Champions League with a knee problem.

It has taken longer than expected for the £17m summer buy from Borussia Dortmund to recover.

But the 23-year-old is back training with the first team this week and Sir Alex Ferguson's vision of a younger more vibrant midfield can start to be restored.

The early-season combination of Kagawa and Tom Cleverley brought some early flashes of energy to the Reds' engine room.