Saha reckons Manchester United will pile on the misery for Everton by inflicting their fourth successive defeat and tips the man who replaced Rooney, Romelu Lukaku, to continue his hot streak.
Former France international Saha, who played for United and Everton, is convinced Rooney will receive a warm reception from United fans who will acknowledge his 13-year spell at the club when he helped them win every major honour in club football and became their all-time record scorer with 253 goals.
“Rooney will find a way to score,” said Saha. “I’m scared for United that he can find different ways.
“It will be interesting to see how United handle the pressure of not having as much possession and also having more pressure placed on their defence as they haven’t been in challenged in their games so far.
“But I will go for a 2-1 win for United. They are title contenders. They look really strong and really composed. I really like the signing of Lukaku. I like United’s attack.
“Lukaku will score – he has got everything. He’s strong and he can play in different styles.
“Sometimes it’s very tough, there is no space and not a lot of chances, but with Lukaku’s strength, he can hold the ball and he can create his own chances. He’s definitely the type of player who can still improve.”
Because of Rooney’s longevity at United, Saha can understand if he is reluctant to celebrate if he scores, but does not believe it will be a problem for Lukaku if he finds the net against the Merseyside club where he spent four seasons.
“I don’t see why Lukaku can’t celebrate but I can see why Rooney can’t and would hesitate to do so,” said Saha. “I think it will be an emotional moment for him.”
Saha reckons Everton was the only obvious choice for Rooney when he decided to leave United because Goodison Park is where he launched his career, he has unfinished business at what has always been his spiritual home, and also because the move to Merseyside meant he didn’t have to uproot his family.
“He clearly decided he wanted a new challenge and as a player you always want to play in every game and he was starting to find that harder in this new-look United team,” said Saha.
“Everton is such a great club to join after being at United and many players have made that move in the last few years, including myself. It’s because the transition is not hard because Everton are always competitive and want to win trophies.
“Wayne will be able to make history there. It’s a great move for Wayne, family-wise as well as football because his wife is having a fourth child and he can have his family around and doesn’t need to move house.
“There’s a lot of stuff outside of football that made him make the choice to go back there and I respect that.”
Jose Mourinho described Rooney as “one of the most important players in the club’s history” and thinks fans should afford him the respect he deserves before and after the game – but not during the 90 minutes when he knows United’s former captain will be desperate to secure the three points.
“I think he will get the welcome that he deserves,” said Mourinho. “Sometimes in this country, the word legend comes too easily. That’s not the…