Mou weighs up Rooney recall Liverpool, United warn fans ahead of epic clash
JOSE Mourinho faces one of the biggest decisions of his Manchester United reign as he weighs up whether to recall Wayne Rooney for the Premier League clash with bitter rivals Liverpool.
Rooney has endured a miserable few weeks after being dropped by United and England.
The 30-year-old’s troubles have led to a debate about whether he should be used in midfield instead of his long-time role as a striker, while some critics claim he is no longer worthy of his place with club or country.
After crushing Leicester in their first match without Rooney, United were less impressive in a draw against lowly Stoke, and Mourinho might be tempted to bring him back at Anfield on Monday.
Given Rooney's experience and track record in big games — he scored the winner at Liverpool last season — if Mourinho does leave him out for such a significant fixture it will cement the striker's diminished status in the Old Trafford pecking order.
Dwight Yorke, a Champions League and Premier League winner during his time with United, has no doubts Rooney is still a force to be reckoned with.
“People in football have such bloody short memories. He just has to get his confidence back and play in the manner we're used to seeing, banging in goals. Then everyone will be singing his praises again,” Yorke said.
After losing their last four league meetings with United, Liverpool have a chance to make a statement about their title credentials.
Jurgen Klopp's side have won four successive matches to climb to fourth place, but the German isn't satisfied.
“Even when you are good, you need to get better because the teams around you all get better. To stay in the race, development is everything," Klopp said.
Leaders Manchester City will bid to bounce back from the first defeat of Pep Guardiola's reign when they CAPE TOWN — As Liverpool prepare to face Manchester United in the eagerly-awaited first meeting of these two great rivals this season, both clubs have issued a joint statement to their supporters.
The sides come face to face at Anfield on Monday evening with the Reds in fourth place with 16 points ahead of United in sixth place just three points worse off.
And with a history of discriminatory behaviour from a section of supporters, the two sides have appealed for this to become a thing of the past.
The joint statement read: “Both clubs, their supporters and football fans around the world are looking forward to this historic and passionate match between two of the sport’s biggest and oldest rivals.
“There is great rivalry between our fans and we ask all supporters to be respectful and help eradicate all
Guardiola was unbeaten in his first 11 matches after arriving from Bayern Munich, but the Spaniard's dream start was shattered by City's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham and Brazil midfielder Fernando admits that his team must recover their momentum quickly.
“We need to learn from that defeat and return to winning ways again, so it's vital we get back to playing the way we have been,” Fernando said.
“We’re all keen to put that game behind us because we were a long way from our best.”
Tottenham hold the top-flight's last unbeaten record as they travel to West Bromwich Albion.
Mauricio Pochettino's second-placed team are only one point behind City thanks to four consecutive forms of offensive and discriminatory behaviour from the game.
“If any supporters are found to be engaged in any form of offensive or discriminatory behaviour by stewards or via CCTV then they will be immediately removed from the stadium, risk arrest, prosecution and be reported in accordance with the club’s ground regulations.
“This is an unrivalled fixture in the Premier League calendar and we thank all fans for their continued support in this important area of the game.” — Sport24.
But Tottenham's fine run could be threatened by a familiar face in Nacer Chadli, who has already scored three times since leaving White Hart Lane to join Albion.
“Am I looking forward to the reunion? Not really! He is going to be a very tough opponent,” Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld said.
Swansea, without a win since the opening day of the season, travel to Arsenal for their first match under new manager Bob Bradley.
Bradley's appointment as replacement for the sacked Francesco Guidolin drew criticism in some quarters and the former US and Egypt coach could do without a drubbing at in-form Arsenal, who have climbed to third place after five successive wins.
Arsenal's title bid was shattered by a 2-1 defeat against Swansea last season and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wants his squad to show how much they have improved. “We had a very negative experience with Swansea, who killed our opportunity to win the Premier League," he said.
“Now we have a good opportunity to show we can deal with fixtures where we are favourites."
Leicester defender Luis Hernandez says the champions are still a team to fear despite a spluttering start to their title defence.
With only two wins from their seven league matches, Claudio Ranieri's side appear to be suffering a prolonged hangover from their fairytale triumph ahead of Saturday's visit to Chelsea. — BBCsport.