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Tuesday 12 December 2017

City on Red alert ahead of Manchester derby

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney. Picture credit: Phil Noble / REUTERS
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney. Picture credit: Phil Noble / REUTERS

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is wary of the firepower of rivals Manchester United - with or without Wayne Rooney.

A report has claimed United captain Rooney could be doubtful for Sunday's Premier League derby clash between the two sides after suffering a foot injury in training.

Rooney had been poised to return to action in the Etihad Stadium encounter after missing United's last three games through suspension.

Louis van Gaal's side have been unbeaten throughout the 29-year-old's recent absence and the team are showing signs of turning around their underwhelming start to the campaign.

Nevertheless it would still be a blow should the England skipper not feature, given his past record against City. Rooney is the record goalscorer in Manchester derbies having scored 11 in 22 games for United.

But Pellegrini is dismissive of any suggestions that City could be lifted should he miss out.

The Chilean, who oversaw 4-1 and 3-0 wins over United last season, said: "I think Rooney is a very important player for Manchester United but I think that big teams never depend on one player. They have enough important, creative players to replace him."

Pellegrini was speaking at a press conference to preview City's League Cup fourth-round tie against Newcastle tonight.

He said: "We are thinking just about Newcastle. When we finish with Newcastle, we will start thinking about Manchester United."

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