• Champions League

Van Persie eager for Rooney reunion

ESPN staff
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Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have not played together since November 10 © Getty Images
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Robin van Persie is keen to resume his partnership with Wayne Rooney at Manchester United.

Van Persie had been missing with injury since United's 1-0 win over Arsenal on November 10, leaving Rooney to lead the line, but returned for the defeat against Newcastle on Saturday, a game Rooney was suspended for after picking up five yellow cards.

However, both are available to David Moyes for the Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, a match the United manager is eager to win in order to qualify for the knockout stages as winners of Group A.

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After losing two consecutive home league games, the Van Persie insists the pair's understanding could be a key factor in United regaining their form.

"What I enjoy most is the interaction together, that we both want to play together," Van Persie said in an interview with UEFA.com. "We both realise that we are better off playing together, because we are stronger when we are playing together, as a partnership. That's the main thing in any partnership.

"You have to have a certain partnership when you're playing with the No. 9 and No. 10, the main striker and the second striker. A left-back and a left winger need to have a partnership; the midfielders need to have a partnership; the two centre-backs, together with both full-backs, are the same.

"So you all have small partnerships in a big partnership, and I think it's very important that you want to work together and you try to feed the ball in to each other, and make each other stronger. You are always stronger, in any sport, in life, when you are doing stuff together. So that makes me really happy."

Although Rooney combined with him to help United to Premier League glory last season, Van Persie is hopeful they can do even more this campaign in order to fire United back into contention at the top of the league.

"With a player of Wayne's calibre, we can go from strength to strength, and we can become better; even better than we do it now," Van Persie added. "I think we've been playing really well together, we've been setting up goals for each other and scoring, which is what I want. One game he will score a couple, the next game I will score a couple.

"Hopefully we get more goals from the wingers as well, which is important, and the midfielders. But it is important that this partnership is growing and becoming even stronger."

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