Having working alongside the 23-year-old during Euro 2012, Rooney knows Carroll could provide a defensive headache to his United team-mates at Old Trafford.
"Andy Carroll is a handful," said Rooney. "I am sure if you ask any defender, they find it difficult to play against someone like that who is good in the air and on the floor.
"He is physical and makes it hard for opponents. That type of player doesn't always get all the goals but they can cause trouble up front and create problems."
United are top of the Premier League despite managing just a single clean sheet and Rooney acknowledges that is a situation that will have to change.
"Clean sheets are the foundation we try and achieve because we have plenty of players who can score goals and win games," he added.
"As a team we are playing some good stuff at times but we are having to grind out results as well. Losing three games already is something we need to put right.
"We have been lucky that we haven't drawn any matches and we need to kick on from here and go on a good run.
"We know City and Chelsea will be looking out for our results as we look out for theirs.
"It is tough period and I am sure the manager will use his squad. We just have to make sure we come through for him."