Rooney ready for ‘massive game’

The England frontman came through the youth ranks and started his

professional career with Liverpool’s fierce local rivals the

Toffees before making the move to United in 2004. Rooney says that

factor, coupled with United’s own intense rivalry with the Reds,

makes trips to Anfield particularly momentous for him. “With my

Everton connections and the fact all my family are big Everton

fans, it makes games against Liverpool a bit more special,” he told

the Daily Express. “Of course, it’s a big day for United with their

rivalry with Liverpool but, for me, it is a massive game. To beat

Liverpool is always a great feeling and a great day when you do

that.” United have suffered defeat on their last three visits to

Liverpool, and while 25-year-old Rooney is expecting another

testing encounter on Saturday lunch-time, he hopes to halt that

winless streak. He added: “Liverpool is always, for me, the

toughest place to go and win a game. “They’ll be pushing to get

into the top four and, with the signings they have, they’re capable

of doing that so we’ll have to be aware of them and try to beat

them this time.” While United’s recent results at Anfield have been

disappointing, Rooney recalls his first trip to the ground with Sir

Alex Ferguson’s men back in 2005, when he scored the winning goal

in the visitors’ 1-0 triumph. He added: “I was a mascot for Everton

in a derby at Anfield once but my best memory of going there was my

first game for United at Anfield. We won 1-0 and I scored the

winner at the Kop, so that was a great day.” United follow up their

trip to Liverpool with another blockbuster clash at home to

neighbours Manchester City the following weekend. Rooney is

predicting a close derby encounter but is certain his side can

snatch a win against their local rivals. He said: “It’s going to be

a massive game for both clubs and the city as a whole. “It will be

a really close game and a difficult game but, with us being at

home, we’re confident we can get the three points.”