Rooney wants to show City that United are still ‘the kings of Manchester’.
“Sunday is a massive game,” said Rooney. “Yes, we owe the fans a derby win even though we did win two trophies last season.
“Losing both games was extremely disappointing. It is a massive game for the players, the fans and the club – especially after what has happened at City with the takeover.
“It will be nice to show them who are the kings of Manchester. I missed both derbies last season and that was really frustrating having to watch when you cannot do anything about it. I am looking forward to Sunday.
“It doesn’t irritate us that City are getting all this publicity. If they were winning trophies it would irritate me, but while they are still lingering in mid-table I am not really too bothered about it.”
He added: “It is different to any other game. The atmosphere at City is a really good one. The players always get up for it. Our fans will push us on. If we can win, and I am sure we can, it will be a great result for us.
“We cannot afford not to win, especially if Liverpool and Chelsea win their games. We have to keep winning all the games and I am sure we will catch them up. Our away form hasn’t been great, but I am not too sure why that is.
“But we are still not too far away from Liverpool and Chelsea and that is the main thing for us. We normally finish the season strongly and hopefully we can do that again.”