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Better if Rooney plays, says the boss

Mancini during Everton game

Mancini during Everton game

Roberto Mancini will be happy if Wayne Rooney is passed fit for this weekend’s Manchester derby because he wants his side to beat the best United have to offer.

Despite the England striker being in blistering form, City have already beaten the Reds once at home this season with Rooney playing and Mancini doesn’t see why his team can’t repeat that win again.

“For me, I think it is better if Rooney plays on Saturday,” said the City boss.

“He is a fantastic player and has had an amazing season. He will be a danger, of course, but United have many fine players in their team – but we have beaten them once at home already and can do it again.

“I think it’s best if both teams are full strength and then the side who takes the three points can truly say the best team won and there is no reason that cannot be us.”

Mancini admits he enjoys derby day and was in charge of numerous Milan battles over the years and believes there are many similarities between the two big city clashes.

“All derbies are the same around the world in that the supporters live for these games and look forward to them more than any other game each year.

Of course, this isn’t just a game about local pride, it is a huge match because we want to finish in fourth place and every game from now until the last will be just as important

...Roberto Mancini


“In Milan, I won games and I lost a few – this is normal for derbies because often the league form doesn’t matter. It is about passion and desire and results don’t always go to form.

“While I have been in Manchester we have won one and lost one already, so this will be a difficult game but one we can win.

 “We need our fans to keep doing what they do each week and get right behind the team from the first minute to the last. They can inspire us to even greater heights and they have a huge role to play against United.”

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