It has been a rather quiet start to the season for Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney. The English forward has mustered just one goal in the Premier League, and despite scoring a hattrick against Club Brugge in the Champions League qualifiers last month, has been well below-par this season.
On Saturday, Manchester United travel to Rooney's hometown Liverpool to take on his old club Everton at the Goodison Park, where the club has lost its last three league games. To make matters worse, Rooney hasn't scored on his last six visits to his old stomping ground, a barren run that dates back to April, 2007.
Ahead of the game, United manager Louis van Gaal tried to ease the pressure off Rooney, saying, "He is our captain, so that's very important, because his influence is bigger than every other player in our group. He's a very important player for me, his colleagues, everybody."
However, on being asked about Rooney's poor form, Van Gaal admitted to being concerned. "Yes [I am concerned]. Maybe against Everton that can change, but I have heard his average there is not so good, so it is getting time that he changed that pattern (sic)."
United currently lie third in the league table, two points behind leaders Manchester City, but suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal earlier this month The Red Devils will hope to get their season back on track with a win at Goodison Park on Saturday.
In other games, Jurgen Klopp will manage his first game for Liverpool in the club's early kick-off against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Manchester City will host Bournemouth at the Etihad, while Arsenal will visit Watford looking for another three points. On the other hand, Jose Mourinho's struggling Chelsea side will take on Aston Villa at the Stamford Bridge in an important Premier League clash.