Updated: Thursday, 22nd February 2018 @ 2:52pm

‘They are first, we are third’: Man City favourites, says United boss Van Gaal

‘They are first, we are third’: Man City favourites, says United boss Van Gaal

| By Adam Leah

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his side are underdogs ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Red Devils sit third in the Premier League table and trail Manchester City at the top by two points which the United boss says makes City favourites.

“They are first and we are third. There is a point different and goal difference. So they are the favourites I think,” said the Dutchman.

“We have to do our work and prepare our game. We have one day less than them so it is more difficult. We have to do our meetings in a shorter time but we have to do that.

“For the fans it’s very emotional. I live in a little village but this is also talk of that town. We hope that we can beat Manchester City."

Wayne Rooney has netted more times than any other player in Manchester derbies with 11 goals.

The United skipper moved joint-second on the list of all-time Premier League goalscorers last Saturday after netting in the 3-0 win over Everton but Van Gaal admits he is unsure how long the England striker will continue to be at the top of his game for.

“It depends on the player. You cannot preview that. It’s about how he lives for his profession, how strong he is, how ambitious.

“It’s dependent on a lot of factors. I think all the great players love such a challenge as the derby, not only Wayne, but the other big players we have. That counts for the big Man City players too."

Only Luke Shaw and Paddy McNair are out injured for Sunday’s clash while Ashley Young returned to training this week but won’t be considered for selection.

Manchester City are without Sergio Aguero and David Silva but will go into the game full of confidence following their midweek Champions League win over Sevilla.

Image courtesy of FIFATV via YouTube, with thanks.