The United captain, who celebrates his 30th birthday today, has labelled his fellow England international a “fantastic player” - and also believes his teammates must keep a close eye on the in-form Kevin De Bruyne, too.
City will head to Old Trafford without two of their key players, Sergio Aguero and David Silva, but Rooney is not convinced that this has significantly weakened the Premier League leaders.
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“Nowadays the top teams have such good squads that they can cope with injuries,” Rooney told the United Review, according to the Red Devils’ official website.
“The players they brought in cost over £100 million in [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Raheem] Sterling, so they are two fantastic young players and we have to nullify their threats and take advantage of their flaws.
“Raheem is a fantastic player and a great lad as well, but he is still a young lad and still has a lot to learn.
“The good thing about Raheem is that he wants to learn. He has started his career at City really well, but hopefully we can slow him down a bit on Sunday and come out on top.”
Rooney: Derby result will not decide title
Rooney is desperate to win the derby later this weekend but does not believe that the result will decide who will go on to be crowned Premier League champions.
“Winning is top of our agenda, but you can’t say whichever team wins will go on to win the title,” he added. "There is a lot of local pride, we want to win and it’s important that we go into the game confident. If we play the way we know we can, then we can certainly take the three points.”
Rooney often shines in this fixture
The Manchester derby is a fixture that has brought the best out of Rooney in the past, and the United faithful will be hoping he produces another moment of magic against the Citizens tomorrow afternoon.
Manchester United fans: should Louis van Gaal start Wayne Rooney or Anthony Martial as the centre-forward tomorrow? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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