Wayne Rooney has taunted Manchester City ahead of the derby on Sunday by claiming it is not the biggest game of the season for Manchester United.

Rooney turned up the heat ahead of the showdown at the Etihad by insisting the champions' games against Liverpool mean more than those against the noisy neighbours from the blue half of town.

United took revenge for City snatching the Premier League crown from them on goal difference in 2012 by strolling to the title by an 11-point margin last season.

And ahead of the first encounter of the new campaign between the Premier League’s top two sides of the past two years Rooney put ambitious City in their place with the withering put-down.

Asked if United vs City was now THE biggest rivalry in English football England international Rooney said: “They’re all big games. Obviously United and Liverpool has been a massive game over the years.

“City have had their success recently but I would probably say that United and Liverpool is still the biggest game.”

Now-retired United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with whom Rooney fell out last season prompting the striker to consider his United future has hailed the striker as being back to his best after three goals in two games.

Rooney has an impressive record against City with five goals in his last six games against them.

And he admitted he is relishing the chance to continue that run in the latest clash between the local rivals.