Four months on, the sight of Wayne Rooney in a Derby County tracksuit is still somewhat unusual. Even more so given he is discussing tackling Manchester United on Thursday, emitting a warm glow as he tries to sum up more than a decade at Old Trafford: 13 years, 12 trophies, 559 appearances and a record 253 goals.
Rooney, 34, is back in England with Derby County who host the 12-time winners in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday.
United’s leading goalscorer Rooney left Old Trafford in 2017 after 13 years and spent a season back at boyhood club Everton before heading to DC United in Major League Soccer.
This will be the first time Rooney has faced United since playing for Everton in a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park in January 2018, while the striker has never scored in his six appearances against the Red Devils.
Derby teenagers Louie Sibley and Morgan Whittaker are in the squad but the Rams remain without midfielder Tom Huddlestone who is sidelined with a calf injury.
United could be without winger Daniel James, who missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Everton with a knock, and full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has a back problem.
Derby have lost their past eight FA Cup ties against Manchester United, most recently in the third round in 2018.
Manchester United were eliminated by Derby the last time the sides met in any competition, with the Rams winning a penalty shootout in last season’s Carabao Cup.
Derby are looking to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1998-99 – the Rams have lost each of their past five fifth-round matches.
Manchester United have progressed from each of their past 10 FA Cup fifth-round matches, reaching the quarter-finals in each of the past five campaigns.
Derby O 1.5 @ 1.91