Klopp praises dropped Rooney ahead of Manchester United's trip to Liverpool

Klopp praises dropped Rooney ahead of Manchester United's trip to Liverpool

Ahead of Monday night's huge showdown, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp still has room to praise United captain Rooney

Liam Headd

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, calling him a 'world-class player' ahead of the eagerly anticipated showdown on Monday night.

Jose Mourinho takes his side to Anfield to conclude the weekend games, hoping to close the gap at the top of the table. United dropped two points against Stoke City before the international break and are in desperate need of three points, as they currently sit six points behind league leaders, Manchester City.

The Merseysiders sit three points ahead of United and a win for them would see Liverpool go level on points with City and Arsenal with 19 points.

Klopp and Mourinho renew their rivalry once more having met on several occasions prior to this clash. The pair were in separate dugouts last year when Liverpool's 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge gave Klopp his first win as manager.

In the corresponding fixture last year, Rooney's late strike gave United three valuable points, and despite his current form which has seen him dropped to the substitute bench for club and country, Klopp still feels the skipper is still a huge threat.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on January 17, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Wayne Rooney celebrates the winner at Anfield last season (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

He said: "Rooney is a goal scorer and a threat. A situation like this can happen in a long career. From my side, he's a world-class player."

United can threaten, claims Klopp

Last season's winner from the 30-year-old was just his second goal at Anfield in his career, and the captain is even in danger of being left out of the starting 11 on Monday.

However, even if the skipper is absent from Mourinho's squad, Klopp still believes that United can be a huge problem, due to how strong their squad is.

"Unfortunately this is a really strong side from Manchester, they know about football, they’re experienced, cool in the right moments, they don’t need world-class performances to win a game."

He added: "Even on rainy days, it’s possible to score and win but it doesn’t mean they will win the game. It just means they have a chance."