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Apr 1, 2011

Rooney: Visitors fear Old Trafford

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has explained the "fear" visiting teams feel at Old Trafford while revealing an unusual pre-match ritual that helps him scare the socks off opposing defenders.

West Ham v Man United preview

• De Gea's agent confirms talks
• Ferguson speaks to ESPN
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England striker Rooney has first-hand knowledge of those shivers before kick-off at Old Trafford, having experienced it for Everton. United have dropped just two points in front of their own fans so far this season, taking 43 points from a possible 45.

Rooney said: "We are always expected to win at home but we always believe we can win, no matter who we play. I have been a player in the away dressing room and I know the fear you feel before the game and you are not expected to get anything out of it. So we have that psychological advantage even before the game starts but we know we are good enough to beat anyone here.''

Rooney has an unusual pre-match ritual as he explained to Inside United.

"The day before a game I always ask Albert (the kitman) which strip we will be wearing - shirt, shorts and socks - so I can try to visualise the game,'' he said.

The immense home record means Sir Alex Ferguson's side are on course to achieve a 19th title as they face West Ham on Saturday at Upton Park in pole position. United are five points clear of Arsenal, who have a game in hand, while reigning champions Chelsea and Manchester City complete the top four.

Rooney said: "I grew up an Everton fan so to be part of the team to overtake Liverpool's record would be brilliant. It would mean so much to us players as well as the fans. It is something I have been thinking about a lot. I know all the Everton fans want us to do it and hopefully we can.

"You look forward to every game at this stage and you've got to enjoy it, especially when you are in the running for a few trophies. It is exciting for the fans and it's exciting for the players knowing that you are just a few weeks away from possibly winning a major trophy or two.''

Defender Jonny Evans will sit out the match as he is suspended after being sent off in the victory against Bolton.

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