New Delhi: The season's first Manchester derby is all set to kick off on Sunday as Louis van Gaal's United will look to find inspiration from their skipper Wayne Rooney to have a say at the Etihad. Rooney comes back from a three-match suspension, and the stage is set perfectly for him to carry his team past the line against the Premier League champions. The Important fact lies in the fact that Rooney favours the derby and is the leading scorer (11) in the history of the game between these two sides.
Rooney missed crucial encounters against Everton, West Brom and Chelsea following a straight red-card against West Ham back in September. United's leader brings a lot to the game, and to marshall the newly looked side against their arch rivals. In the absence of Rooney United have managed a win and two successive draws and Sunday's clash serves a prime importance for both Manchester outfits.
Louis van Gaal stated that he was happy with Rooney's attitude in the team's practice sessions and there is no injury concerns regarding the latter. Rooney's comeback after a month for United could serve as a good platform for the rest, as van Gaal will hope for an impressive display form his main man. United's fortune lies a lot in Rooney's performance and how he dictates his presence as the man who is a specialist on big occasions.
United have lost five out of the last six derbies, with their previous victory coming in the famous 3-2 win at the Etihad in the 2012-13 season. Last year it was a sorry state of affair for United with the overall scoreline over both legs reading 7-1 in favour of the Citizens. This time it can go in a different way. United will be bolstered by the two comebacks which led to draws against West Brom and Chelsea, alongside the surprising positive form of midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
City meanwhile have failed to win in their last three outings and a lot have been said from all corners regarding a serious dip in their play. But this is the derby, and often teams come back to form in the big games. With City it's no different. After all they are the champions!