herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Rooney: Bring it on

UNITED striker relishing Liverpool clash and tough run of matches to follow

MANCHESTER United striker Wayne Rooney is relishing Manchester United's tough run.

After beating Manchester City and Arsenal in their last two away games, United head to Liverpool on Saturday for an FA Cup fourth-round tie.

It is the first of two meetings with the Merseyside giants, whom they also face at Old Trafford in the Premier League on February 11, a fixture that is sandwiched between trips to Chelsea and Tottenham.

However, far from being daunted by the demand of such high-profile fixtures, Rooney is confident it will bring out the best in his team-mates.

"They are all difficult games but these are the matches you want to play in," he said.

"The next three or four weeks will be exciting.

"We understand and know what we have to do and I always feel we are at our best around now because we can see the end of the season and that there are trophies there to be won."

And it seems Patrice Evra will not be spared the trial of playing at Anfield this weekend.

Saturday's game will be the first time they have faced their old rivals since Evra levelled racism allegations at Luis Suarez that ended with the Uruguay forward landing an eight-match ban.

Suarez will still be suspended for the FA Cup tie, a fact that is only likely to heighten the normal antagonism for United from the Kop.

Earlier this season, Alex Ferguson left Rooney out of his starting line-up to face Liverpool due to the adverse reaction the striker receives in his home city, whilst last season, the United boss did not even take his star forward to former club Everton.

Meanwhile, former United striker Andy Cole believes the Reds' league win over Arsenal points the way to FA Cup glory at Anfield this weekend.

"Look at the way (United) performed against Arsenal - if they go to Anfield and play like that, then they've got to be confident," Cole said. "Liverpool have been struggling for form recently, and if they play like they did at Arsenal then I can't see why they can't get a very positive result."

Cole added: "United are long overdue a good result at Anfield," Cole said. "I thought they played well there earlier this season and Liverpool aren't scoring too many goals at the moment. I think they can go there with a real sense of belief."

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