Manchester City Derby: United At Disadvantage – Van Gaal – Van Gaal
According to reports from The Guardian yesterday evening, Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United’s mid-week visit to CSKA Moscow puts them at a disadvantage for the Manchester derby on Sunday.
The Red Devils face Manchester City in the 170th Manchester derby this weekend, knowing a win would allow them to leapfrog ‘the noisy neighbours’ in the Premier League table and drastically increase their chances in this season’s title race..
But before United can consider the outcome of the 14.05pm kickoff at Old Trafford, they have the small issue of travelling to Russia to contend with first – something which manager Louis van Gaal believes gives City an unfair advantage.
The Red Devils meet CKSA Moscow at Arena Khimki in the Champions League this evening and face an eight hour round trip to get to the Russian capital, whilst City enjoy a home tie with Sevilla at the Eithad stadium.
It means Manuel Pellegrini’s side can begin preparations for the derby immediately, whilst United won’t touch down in England until Thursday afternoon.
In response, van Gaal told reporters yesterday; “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 and that is a difference. The next time we may have the benefit you never know.
“But it is important that it is like that because you can have the benefit. 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. We do a lot of things to try and help. We have cold baths, we have warm baths, less training sessions and practise so the freshness is good enough to beat City. But first we have to beat Moscow.”