Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has claimed that Manchester City are favourites going into the derby at Old Trafford on Sunday.
City currently top the Premier League table, two points ahead of Man United and the manager thinks this is an indication that they have the upper hand. The Sky Blues have done well in the derby in recent years but United won the fixture 4-2 last season and confidence will be high ahead of the clash.
Both teams will know just how important the game is, not only for in terms of the title race but also for fans of both the sides.
Despite the manager’s comments, he will be wanting a win as much as anyone else.
“When you look at the facts, they are first and we are second or third. There is also the goal difference and theirs is better. They are first so they are the favourites I think,” he said.
However, City go into the game with a whole host if injuries. Five first-team players, including David Silva and Sergio Aguero, are unavailable for their trip across town and their absence could mean swing the tide in United’s favour.
United are coming into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. United arrived back in Manchester with less than 72 hours to go until kick-off in the derby and fatigue is another aspect that could mean City have the upper hand going into the game, having played at home on Wednesday night, beating Sevilla 2-1.
Form tends to go out of the window for derby games and both teams will know they have their work cut out for them. Given their situation, City could be happy to come away from Old Trafford with a draw, while United will be desperate to leave their mark on their game and send out a statement to the rest of the league.