The Manchester United squad flew back to England from Russia yesterday, giving them one day less than Manchester City to prepare for the big derby game at the weekend.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference, Louis van Gaal has explained how big this game is for the fans:
“I think for the fans it’s very emotional.
“I live in a little village and it’s the talk of the town there.
“But for me it’s not an issue because I have to work more rationally and not emotionally. We have to prepare our game; we have one day less, so it is more difficult.
“We have to do the meetings in a shorter time. It is also more difficult for the players, but we have to do that. That is what we are doing and we hope that we can beat Manchester City.”
In an interview with MUTV, the Manchester United manager says that the weekend match up is more than just a game; it is also a great indicator of who is ready to top the Premier League:
“In Manchester people are talking of the match. I can imagine that because Manchester City have a lot of fans, but Manchester United has more fans so it shall be a battle.
“I don’t think it is a big issue for us that Manchester City have started well, because you can expect that from a club like City.
“It’s not only a derby, but a match that can see who can be ready to go top of the table.
“Last year we had a very good derby, of course, a 4-2 win, and that is very important for the fans. I hope we can do that again but it is always difficult.
“[If United win] I shall take a very big glass of wine and toast our victory.”
The Manchester derby kicks off at 14:05 at Old Trafford, on Sunday. It will also be broadcasted on Sky Sports 1.