Date:Tuesday February 21 2006
Wayne Rooney has gone 12 games since his last goal, and Wigan skipper Arjan de Zeeuw insists he will not suffer sleepless nights this week worrying about how to stop him.
The veteran Dutchman knows the key to who picks up the League Cup could depend on how they keep Rooney quiet.
De Zeeuw: 'Wayne Rooney is the biggest talent in England at the moment. He is very aggressive, always wants to run at you with the ball and scores goals with ease.
'He has magnificent natural talent and ability and it would certainly help us if he didn't have a good day on Sunday that's for sure.
'But big players do tend to play well on big occasions - and Wayne Rooney is definitely a big player.
'I am not going to lose any sleep over how good he is though, or how good Manchester United are. We have to look at ourselves and concentrate on the way we play and how we approach the game.
'It is hard for us to man-mark him because all that does is bring their other top quality players into the game even more.
'He can be stopped another way. You just need a bit of luck and to accept you cannot do it on your own, you need the whole team to work from front to back.
'We were a bit too open at Old Trafford and hopefully we have learned our lessons from that.
'For spells they let us play and we were well in the game. But as soon as we lost the ball they counter-attacked and killed it off.
'Manchester United might not have done as well as people expected them to this year but they still have some decent players and don't have too many weaknesses.
'This isn't their last chance of silverware but if you look at the Premiership table it is clearly their best chance.
'You could argue there is pressure on us because this game also represents our best chance of getting into Europe but most of it is on United.
'They are the ones who are expected to win a trophy every season, although I guess pressure is something they are used to because they play with it every week.'
Date:Tuesday February 21 2006
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|2. Man City||30||18||7||5||34||61|
|4. Man Utd||30||17||8||5||25||59|
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