Paul Merson: This player won’t start Man United v Liverpool

The former Arsenal midfielder doesn't expect Wayne Rooney to start for Manchester United against Liverpool

Paul Merson doesn’t anticipate Wayne Rooney being named in Manchester United’s starting line-up for the visit of Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Red Devils captain equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals last weekend after the England international broke the deadlock in Manchester United’s 4-0 win against Reading in the third round of the FA Cup.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Hull City on Tuesday night after the centre-forward struggled with illness ahead of the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Old Trafford.

The 34-year-old has scored 12 times in his last 12 games in all competitions to help Manchester United notch up six successive wins in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s north-west derby.

Writing in his Daily Star column on Saturday morning, Merson backed Ibrahimovic to start ahead of Rooney when Manchester United host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

“If Rooney could pick one team to break the record against and become Manchester United’s greatest goalscorer you know it would be Liverpool,” Merson said.

“He could do it too. But I don’t think he will start the game, not if Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fit, so he might have to do it from the bench.

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“What an option he is to have in reserve like that though. It tells you everything about United right now. Their squad suddenly looks so deep.”

Manchester United started the weekend in sixth place in the Premier League table and three points adrift of the top four.

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