Updated: Tuesday, 21st August 2018 @ 3:46pm

Van Gaal dreams the dream of Man Utd derby day victory to 'secure' European place

Van Gaal dreams the dream of Man Utd derby day victory to 'secure' European place

| By Ben Southworth

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is dreaming of victory in a very special game when his side meet rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The 13-time Premier League champions sit one point and one place above last season’s winners and will be looking to avenge their 1-0 defeat at City earlier in the season.

United have already recorded victories over Tottenham and Liverpool in recent weeks and their Dutch boss believes they can record a first win in five against City.

“Of course I dream of winning the derby – every player shall dream of it,” Van Gaal told MUTV.

"You want to win because it is a big step in the table. When you win, third place is reachable and months ago nobody was thinking we could do it - besides me, of course!

“Third position in the table is also good because you have certainly qualified for the Champions League and we would do better than the goal we set in pre-season."

If Van Gaal’s side are to end their run of four straight derby defeats, they will have to do so without Robin van Persie, the man who scored the final-minute winner in their last win over City.

The striker is back in full training this week, but Sunday’s game has come too early for him according to his manager.

However, the former Barcelona manager has been devising a plan in Van Persie’s absence.

“I have been thinking with my staff and my players for many days about how we beat Manchester City. You are always [thinking] in that process of how to beat your next opponent,” added Van Gaal.

“‘Never change a winning team’ is an English expression but I always have my eyes open.

“It’s also an obligation to the substitutes that you compare players. They are always pushing and I like that.”

Victory over their local rivals could lift United to second in the league and further strengthen their grip on an automatic Champions League qualification spot.

Main image courtesy of MUTV via YouTube, with thanks.