English Premiership

Rooney plans to ruin Klopp's first taste of bitter rivalry

2016-01-15 10:30
Wayne Rooney (AFP)

London  - Wayne Rooney plans to send Jurgen Klopp into another frustrated touchline frenzy by ruining the Liverpool manager's first taste of his club's bitter rivalry with Manchester United.

Klopp has proved a volatile presence during a series of touchline rows with rival managers since taking charge earlier this season and the fiery German's antics will bear watching closely in one of the most explosive fixtures on the Premier League calendar.

From the CS gas attack by a Liverpool fan on Manchester United players and staff at Anfield in 1986, to Liverpool striker Luis Suarez racially abusing United's Patrice Evra in 2011, few meetings between these ancient enemies have passed off without a notable outpouring of hatred.

The two most decorated clubs in England, with 38 league titles between them, relish jousting for silverware.

Yet this season they find themselves cut adrift from the title race - United are nine points away from leaders Arsenal with Liverpool a further three behind - and that should make the yearning for the consolation of local bragging rights even greater at Anfield on Sunday.

Into the maelstrom of derby enmity steps Klopp, who has already fallen out with Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, West Bromwich Albion chief Tony Pulis and Chelsea assistant coach Jose Morais.

United would love nothing more than to make Klopp hopping mad again on Sunday but after squandering the lead late in a 3-3 draw at Newcastle United on Tuesday, captain Rooney says his team must play with the kind of composure often lacking in this fixture.

"You can score as many goals as you want, but if you keep conceding goals, then it's a problem," Rooney said.

"They were silly goals to concede at Newcastle and they were avoidable. We have to keep trying to get that balance right."

Liverpool, beaten in their last three meetings with United including a 3-1 loss at Old Trafford this season - also conceded three times in midweek, but finished more satisfied than United after Joe Allen's last-gasp goal rescued a 3-3 draw with Arsenal.

"It was a crazy game, a crazy night," Liverpool defender Kolo Toure said.

"In the next game coming up against United, we need to show more power defensively.

"United scored three in their last game, and so did we. They conceded three, and so did we.

"It's going to be another big game for us. These are the kind of games you can win if you are strong mentally."

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30 September 2016
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 21:00
01 October 2016
Swansea City v Liverpool, Liberty Stadium 13:30
West Ham United v Middlesbrough, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion, Stadium of Light 16:00
Hull City v Chelsea, The KC Stadium 16:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 16:00
02 October 2016
Manchester United v Stoke City, Old Trafford 13:00
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