Louis van Gaal has begun the mind games ahead of the Manchester derby by claiming that arch rivals City have the distinct advantage before the match.
Manchester City have been the team to beat in the league so far this campaign. They lead the table – albeit with only a two-point advantage over United – after having taken 21 points from the opening nine games. United have the advantage of this game being played at Old Trafford for this first major derby of the season between the two sides. Both teams will be looking to avoid a draw since it will favour the teams like Arsenal.
Aside from the recent form, Van Gaal also says that the scheduling of the European fixtures puts United at a major disadvantage. United have been involved in a Champions League game against CSKA Moscow. Even though they played on the same night as City, they had to travel far away for this away trip. City, who entertained Sevilla at Etihad stadium, had the comfort of playing at home for the third consecutive game in all competitions. United claimed a 1-1 draw in the game whereas City enjoyed a last-minute winner from Kevin De Bruyne.
After having witnessed City in fine scoring form, Van Gaal will be more concerned about addressing issues at the back. “Every club at the top of the league has the same problems but now Manchester City has a benefit because they are playing at home.That is a difference. You have the benefit of the recuperation – Manchester City don’t have the travel we have so they have more rest.There is nothing you can do. They have the benefit but we do a lot of things to try and help.The freshness is good enough to beat City. But first we have to beat Moscow,” said Van Gaal.