Manchester: Robin van Persie insists he is back to his best and has denied suggestions he is over the hill.
Robin van Persie
Van Persie will look to continue his recent good form on Sunday when Manchester United host bitter rivals Liverpool.
The arrival of Radamel Falcao, and Wayne Rooney's appointment as captain had led some to question the 31-year-old's place in the starting XI.
The striker looked a shadow of the man who scored 29 goals in his debut year at Old Trafford at the start of this campaign.
But after scoring three goals in his last three games — including a match-winning brace against Southampton — Van Persie believes he has reached peak form again, which is handy for United ahead of their biggest home fixture of the season.
"When you hit 30 and you're having a bad spell everyone say it's because you're 30 or 31 and things might be over for you," the United striker told MUTV.
"I live a quiet life for my football and I'm almost convinced now that I will play for many years to come at the highest level, at least that's what I want and what I'm aiming for. The age thing is not an issue for me at all."
Van Gaal wants more
However, United manager Louis Van Gaal, never happy with anything but the best, is still not satisfied with the fact that his team are third in the standings behind Chelsea and Manchester City.
"I dream for Manchester City's place or Chelsea's place," the Dutchman admitted, frankly. "(But) now we have to live match for match and that is the most important thing."
Di Maria injured
Meanwhile, midfielder Angel di Maria will miss today's Manchester United's game against Liverpool because of a hamstring injury.
1. Liverpool's lack of firepower
Goals have been a major problem all season for the Reds and the return of Balotelli doesn't guarantee it.
2. Balotelli's record vs United
During his spell at Man City, Balotelli came out on top on two of the four derbies he played in. He scored a brace in City's 6-1 win in 2011.
3. Unsettled United defence
Utd's defence was all over the place at the start of the season. The worst point came when they let five in against Leicester City.
4. Is this fixture Important?
Neither side look capable of challenging for the title. United may just be 11 points short of Chelsea, but the Blues have a far better squad. Liverpool are 18 points off the pace.