English Premiership

Rooney aims to break duck

2012-10-19 18:02
Wayne Rooney (AFP Photo)

London - In prolific goalscoring form for England over the past week, Wayne Rooney will look to finally get off the mark for Manchester United this season when his team hosts Stoke in the Premier League on Saturday.

Rooney is without a goal in six matches for United, his plight not helped by being dropped into an attacking midfield role to accommodate new signing Robin van Persie.

It's been a different story on the international stage, with his two goals against San Marino on Friday and another against Poland to take his tally for England to 32 — fifth on the all-time list.

Friday marked 10 years to the day that Rooney, then only 16, signaled his arrival in English football with a stunning first Premier League goal — a memorable 30-yard winner in the last minute for Everton against Arsenal.

And he hasn't lost any of the exuberance and unflagging work ethic that made him standout as a star in the making as a teenager, working hard in his defensive duties in recent wins over Cluj in the Champions League and Newcastle in the league.

He also set up four goals in those two games but adding to his 144 league goals will be the priority as second-place United looks to break down a robust Stoke backline and keep the pressure on unbeaten leader Chelsea.

"We've got the jolly green giants coming to play against us tomorrow — the biggest team in Europe," United manager Alex Ferguson said of Stoke's tall players. "You can get yourself in a tangle about that because they are a handful at set-piece plays and long throw-ins, but you can't make a terror for yourself."

With left winger Ashley Young fit after two weeks out with a knee injury, Ferguson has an embarrassment of riches in attack as his side looks to pounce on any slip-up Chelsea may make in Saturday's early kickoff against Tottenham.

Chelsea is four points clear of United after an unbeaten start to the campaign that has seen the team win six of its seven matches.

The European champions have already beaten Arsenal away this season and face another short trip to north London this weekend when they visit Tottenham, which has won its last four league matches under former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Football, however, has been overshadowed by off-the-pitch matters at Chelsea this week, with John Terry deciding not to challenge a four-match ban given to him for racially abusing an opponent in a league game last October.

The match at Tottenham will be the first game of the defender's suspension and Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo refused to confirm whether the club's internal disciplinary action meant stripping Terry of the captaincy.

"This is a very big week for Chelsea ... and I've not been asked one question about football," Di Matteo said.

"He has realized that on that day, he fell below his standards and the club's standards. For that he has received a ban and a fine and more action from the club. He is being punished for what he has said. We have all made mistakes in our life before."

Chelsea have failed to win in its last six Premier League visits to White Hart Lane and any more dropped points would give the chasing pack — led by United, Everton and defending champion Manchester City — an opportunity to close the gap.

Third-place City travels to West Bromwich Albion, which is sixth, and Everton hosts last-place Queens Park Rangers — one of three teams still without a victory — on Sunday.

Sunderland hosts Newcastle in a northeast derby in Sunday's other match, with the rest of the games on Saturday.

Liverpool, with only six points from seven matches, seeks its third home league win of 2012 when it plays Reading, with manager Brendan Rodgers facing a striker shortage with Italy forward Fabio Borini ruled out this week for three months with a broken foot.

Arsenal visits Norwich, while it's also: Fulham vs. Aston Villa; Swansea vs. Wigan; and West Ham vs. Southampton.

Read more on:    english premiership  |  wayne rooney  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

28 November 2015
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Sunderland v Stoke City, Stadium of Light 17:00
Aston Villa v Watford, Villa Park 17:00
Bournemouth v Everton, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester United, King Power Stadium 19:30
29 November 2015
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea, White Hart Lane 14:00
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion, Boleyn Ground 16:05
Liverpool v Swansea City, Anfield 18:15
Norwich City v Arsenal, Carrow Road 18:15
05 December 2015
Stoke City v Manchester City, Britannia Stadium 14:45
Arsenal v Sunderland, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v West Ham United, Old Trafford 17:00
Southampton v Aston Villa, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur, The Hawthorns 17:00
Watford v Norwich City, Vicarage Road 17:00
Chelsea v Bournemouth, Stamford Bridge 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.