UNITED RELY ON ROONEY FACTOR

ENGLAND - Manchester United winger Nani believes teammate Wayne Rooney's form can make the difference as United seek to overcome Manchester City in their League Cup semifinal second leg tonight.

ENGLAND - Manchester United winger Nani believes teammate Wayne Rooney's form can make the difference as United seek to overcome Manchester City in their League Cup semifinal second leg tonight.

City hold a 2-1 advantage from last week's first game at Eastlands, with a place in the final against Aston Villa at stake.

Ryan Giggs opened the scoring last Tuesday, only for former United player Carlos Tevez to score twice to put City in the driver's seat for what is sure to be a highly charged return match in the wake of Tevez's acrimonious public spat with former teammate Gary Neville.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that United's away goal should count for nothing, as they should secure their trip to Wembley in normal time.

He has also hinted that Rooney's desire to play in every game and natural enthusiasm means that the England striker is unlikely to be rested after scoring all four goals in United's 4-0 win over Hull at the weekend.

Nani was also impressive against Phil Brown's Tigers as he made his comeback after several weeks out with an ankle injury.

The winger was hoping to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo but has struggled for form this season. He thinks he can build on his display against Hull.

"Everyone is very happy. It's great to be top of the table and it's given everyone a lot of confidence. We're playing well, scoring goals and feeling good," Nani said.

"The game against City will be very hard, but it's great that we have someone like Wayne who is in good form and feeling confident."

City lost 4-3 at Old Trafford in September but Brazilian defender Sylvinho thinks their playing style is perfectly suited to playing away from home.

"The mentality of the team is good. The boss (Roberto Mancini) is asking us to play football as soon as we can and that makes a difference when you're on the pitch. We're looking forward to Wednesday (today)."

Meanwhile, Fulham have reportedly accepted an offer from United for 20-year-old defender Chris Smalling. - Sapa-AFP and AP

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