Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has identified Raheem Sterling as a threat for when the Reds take on Manchester City on Sunday.
Rooney and Sterling play together for England and will know each other’s games well going into the derby and the striker knows that Sterling can cause damage to Man United. The pair will be looking to facing off against each other with so much on the line.
It will be Sterling’s first Manchester derby since signing for City from Liverpool this summer. The 20-year-old scored a hat-trick last week against Bournemouth and, because of his good form, City will be confident despite all their injuries. Both Sergio Aguero and David Silva are unavailable but Rooney knows that a win against the Sky Blues will not be easy.
“Nowadays the top teams have such good squads that they can cope with injuries,” the United striker, who turned 30 on Saturday, told United Review.
“The players [City] brought in cost over £100m in De Bruyne and 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.”
United will know that if they can keep both Sterling and De Bruyne quiet, it will go a long way towards winning the game. Both players are capable of providing a moment of brilliance which could take Rooney and his side by surprise and the Reds will want to ensure that does not happen.
It is a huge game, even so early in the season, and the pressure will be on United to get a win at home. Old Trafford will be bouncing and should the Reds finish the weekend ahead of City in the league table, it could sent out a message to the rest of the league that United are well and truly in the title race.