Van Gaal: Manchester City are derby favourites

Manuel Pellegrini’s side sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League heading into Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford, and the Red Devils boss feels his team are underdogs


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes Manchester City are the favourites heading into Sunday’s derby clash.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League table with United in third, and the Red Devils boss feels his side are underdogs at Old Trafford.

“If you look at the facts, they are first. They are the favourites I think,” he told reporters.

“We are second or third, there is a goal difference and a point difference, so I think they are the favourites.”

United travelled to Moscow to face CSKA in the Champions League on Wednesday – eventually drawing 1-1 – while City faced Sevilla at home, winning 2-1.

Van Gaal is unworried by the distance his side have had to cover, however, and insists they will be fresh for the derby encounter, which he believes is “the talk of the town”.

“We’ve done everything to help the recovery of the players. We didn’t train too hard today, to avoid injuries,” he added.

“We have one day less [to prepare after Moscow flight] but we have to do it and that’s what we’re doing. We hope we can beat City.”

Van Gaal has also confirmed that Ashley Young will miss the encounter, but is upbeat over the current fitness of his squad.

“It’s always better that a manager can select from a lot of players. There have been times when I could not select from many, like last year, but this year is going much better,” he said.

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