Wayne Rooney predicts a difficult clash with Derby County on Friday

Derby County West Stand

Manchester United travel to Derby County for the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney says his side expect a difficult clash against Championship promotion hopefuls Derby County this Friday, The Telegraph reports.

Rooney has played at the Ipro Stadium a few times in his career, with the most renowned being United’s 1-0 League Cup semi-final first-leg defeat back in 2009.

Indeed, the England international acknowledges Derby’s capabilities at home, and he told reporters how his side are expecting a difficult encounter in front of a packed out 33,000 attendance.

“We know, as we’ve played there before, that it will be a difficult game with a good atmosphere on Friday night. I’m sure they’ll be really up for it with their crowd and we’ll be up for it, as we’ve experienced these games,” Rooney explained.

“Derby have nothing to lose. No one is expecting them to win and they’ll try to cause an upset. We know that and have to be ready for that. It will be a difficult night for us.”

United reached round four after a late Rooney penalty gave them a slender 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Old Trafford.

Derby, on the other hand, came from behind to beat Hartlepool 2-1 – their only victory in their last six outings in all competitions.

The Rams have spent big this season in a bid to win promotion to the Premier League, yet they have somewhat underachieved thus far and lost their last match 4-1 at promotion rivals Burnley.

There will be pressure on Derby to at least perform, although not as much as the pressure on United boss Louis van Gaal following a poor run of form topped by last weekend’s home defeat to Southampton.

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