As Manchester United look to host Liverpool, Wayne Rooney has marked Luis Suarez as the man to watch out for, calling him one of the best player in the world alongside Messi and Ronaldo.
“Suarez, for me, is up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world.”
The Uruguayan striker who wanted to run away from Anfield last summer is now leading a potent Liverpool side and has blossomed into one of the Premier League’s best players this season. He tops the scoring charts having scored 24 goals this season, 13 more than Wayne Rooney. Liverpool have been lethal upfront and the Sturridge-Suarez partnership has provided the Reds 42 goals amongst themselves.
“He has been that good and the two of them together have been in great form this season. We will have to do everything we can to stop them on Sunday.
“I think they are both fantastic players and obviously it is good to see Sturridge doing well because he has never really had a chance at his previous clubs. Brendan Rodgers has given him a chance and he has taken it with both hands. That is good for England as well.”
In stark contrast, the much hyped partnership of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney has not yielded any result for Manchester United this season. The duo has scored a total of 22 goals though one must take into account the fact that they have spent quite some time in the recuperating room, dealing with their injuries. However even in the matches they did start together, the Manchester United strikers have failed to pose the threat they were expected to when Van Persie moved to Old Trafford.
Rooney seems to be aware of the criticism and believes that he is working hard alongside Robin to produce the results expected of them.
“We can do better and if we are not at the top of the league then that will get looked at and we understand that.”
“We can score more goals and we know we can. We are working hard to do that, we have to keep going and hopefully that will come.”
The match on Sunday may well be decided by either of the attacking pairs and even though Liverpool start the game as the favourites, a strong performance by Rooney and Robin Van Persie might turn the game in United’s favour. The English striker is well aware of the importance of such a crucial fixture and had previously admitted that it was difficult for him to see Liverpool succeed while they themselves languished in trouble. Speaking in an interview before the match, the United striker spoke about the importance of hosting Liverpool at Old Trafford and believes that the derby will be an interesting fixture for both sets of fans.
“There’s no doubt that this is one of the biggest rivalries in world football. They are two massive clubs who have competed against each other for years and both have been very successful.”
“It has all the ingredients for a great game of football for all football fans.”
Rooney spoke about Sturridge and Suarez and the need to play good football to overcome their opposition on Sunday.
“Suarez and Sturridge are the Premier League’s top scorers and have formed a great partnership, but they also have a lot of other players in good form like Sterling, Henderson and Steven Gerrard. We just need to play the football we know we can and I’m sure we can get a positive result.”
While Rooney seems to have his heart set on stopping Liverpool on Sunday, one cannot help but wonder if Suarez-Sturridge have achieved the level of success that Rooney and Robin Van Persie were expected to achieve in England. Have the Liverpool duo left their Manchester United contemporaries trailing behind? For now, it certainly seems that way.