"I'm very excited about the game because I grew up as an Everton fan hating Liverpool." Rooney claimed on Thursday. "And that hasn't changed!
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"We're in pole position in the title race and we know if we can beat Liverpool, then that will more or less end their chances of winning the League."
For lengthy periods of this season, the prospect of Liverpool returning to the summit of English football has been a real one. Real enough for Rooney and his United team-mates to view their rivals from the other end of the East Lancs Road, rather than those in north and west London, as the most likely opponents to steal their Premier League crown.
Liverpool's early-season form has subsided, though, while United have embarked on a 13-game winning streak in the League that has enabled them to prepare for Saturday's collision with a seven-point lead, plus a game in hand, over Rafael Benitez's team.
When Benitez launched his rant about Sir Alex Ferguson on Jan 9, Liverpool held a seven-point lead over United, albeit having played two more games.
Since then, a 14-point swing has put United within touching distance of their third successive title, one which will equal Liverpool's English record of 18, and Rooney admits that nobody is relishing the prospect of ending Liverpool's ambitions for another year more than him.
Rooney said: "If we can beat Liverpool it will almost certainly put them out of the title race and that will be great for everybody at Old Trafford – especially me. I get a bigger kick out of beating Liverpool than anybody else.
"No other game is ever going to get in the way of Manchester United-Liverpool because it is always a massive fixture and especially so this time, with what is at stake.
"Liverpool have put up a great challenge this season, but it would be nice if we could end that challenge at our place."
Equalling Liverpool's tally of titles is viewed as little more than a minor detail alongside the greater challenges that face United this season, however.
The quintuple remains a distinct possibility following the Champions League last-16 victory against Inter Milan that earned United their place in next Friday's draw for the quarter-finals and beyond.
Three more trophies, to add to the Club World Cup and Carling Cup, are the target, but Rooney believes that United's biggest achievement of all has been halting Chelsea's march towards dominance by restoring the glory days at Old Trafford.
He said: "It will be a great achievement if we can win the League a third year on the run, especially after Chelsea won it two years running.
"They were making it hard to see anyone else winning it for a while, but we have bounced back as a club and as a quality team. So if we can do it again this season, it will be a great feeling.
"Winning five trophies is still possible, though. We know it's going to be tough, but that's why we have the squad and we will need it."
United's assault on all the trophies evokes memories of their treble in 1999. Patrick Vieira, the Inter Milan, midfielder was part of the Arsenal team who ran United close in the League and FA Cup 10 years ago and he admits that one key factor unites 1999 and the present day: Sir Alex Ferguson.
Vieira said: "Somebody has to drive the team every day, every week, every year and he is the main man at the club, the one who gives the club the winning spirit.
"He has been there for so long and has won every thing possible there is to win. Yet year after year he keeps winning games and wanting to win more.
"United are a really good team and they have underlined how strong their hunger is for more success. They have what it takes to win every competition."