David de Gea has come out fighting against the constant assumptions that Manchester United are the underdog to Manchester City’s favourite.
The Spanish goalkeeper was asked whether the Reds could halt Man City in their gallop towards the Premier League title. His response was fantastic, what Man United’s players should be coming out with, displaying confidence, leaning towards arrogance.
De Gea has been in fantastic form this season, putting in one of the finest goalkeeping displays in many years in English football against Arsenal. He made 14 saves, a joint Premier League-record, including an astonishingly good double-save to deny Alexandre Lacazette.
That confidence has carried itself into De Gea’s mindset ahead of the derby on Sunday.
“Well, can City stop United as well, no?” De Gea tasked Thierry Henry when the Sky Sports pundit asked if the Reds could stop City.
“We play at home, with the fans, a special game, of course, it’s a derby. We are confident, we feel really strong and we want to win.”
“The team is we are in a really really good moment,” he added.
“We won two away games, difficult games, so we are confident, we are strong, we know we play an important game and, like I said before, we really want to win.”
So much of the coverage ahead fo Sunday’s huge clash in the context of the title race has been on United missing Paul Pogba through suspension after the Frenchman’s red card against Arsenal. It’s been on United’s inferiority to City.
De Gea is mounting the opposite view: United should be favourites. The squad and fans can’t go into a Manchester derby at Old Trafford predicting defeat. The question, De Gea is right, should be whether City can stop United’s utterly brilliant home form.
Unbeaten in 40 games at home, United have had one of their best starts to a season at home, winning their opening 11 games of the season at Old Trafford.