It’s the North England derby

It’s the North England derby

ROONEYLONDON. — 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 English Premier League soccer 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 tomorrow.

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 tomorrow 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.”

That late Liverpool leveller was a blow to Arsenal’s bid to win the title for the first time since 2004, but Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey expects them to bounce back at Stoke City tomorrow.

“We have a tough game coming up against Stoke and we haven’t found it easy the last few times we have been there but we will be looking to get back to winning ways and get back on another run,” Ramsey said after scoring at Anfield.

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Alexis Sanchez is available for Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Stoke.

The Chile international (27) has been on the sidelines since November with the hamstring injury he suffered in the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Norwich.

Initially, the former Barcelona star — who moved to the Emirates in the summer of 2014 — was expected to be on the sidelines for a maximum of four weeks.

However, he suffered a setback in December which kept him out for another fortnight.

But he has fully recovered and is available for tomorrow’s game at the Britannia. Wenger said yesterday: “He has two decisive days. Today and tomorrow. He’s fit.”

Despite claiming that Sanchez is ready for the game against Mark Hughes’ side, Wenger has hinted that he doesn’t know if he will start the £35m man.

He added: “Do we take a gamble or not on his injury?”

Wenger confirmed new signing Mohamed Elneny has completed the necessary paperwork and will be available for the first of two games Arsenal “Invincible” Ray Parlour believes are key to his old side’s title chances.

Fixtures (all 5pm unless stated)

Today: Aston Villa v Leicester City (7:30pm), Bournemouth v Norwich City, Chelsea v Everton, Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Newcastle United v West Ham United, Southampton v West Bromwich Albion, Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland (2:45pm)

Tomorrow: Liverpool v Manchester United (4:05pm), Stoke City v Arsenal (6:15pm)


Swansea City v Watford (2000 GMT)

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