Mou weighs up Rooney re­call Liver­pool, United warn fans ahead of epic clash

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

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

host Ever­ton.

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.

vic­to­ries.

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.

Wayne Rooney

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