Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has labelled Manchester City as favourites ahead of their clash at Old Trafford on Sunday (25 October). This, despite the manager admitting that it does not make a difference which team starts as favourites.
The Dutchman made the statement owing to the Etihad Stadium outfit's position at the top of the Premier League table, while the Red Devils are in the third place, level on points with second-placed Arsenal, who take on Everton on Saturday (24 October).
"It is not so important who is the favourite. When you look at the facts, they are first. We are second or third, there is goal difference and points difference. They are the favourites I think," Van Gaal is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
Van Gaal understands the nature of the game, and the emotion involved and is hoping that his team can replicate least season's performance, when they won 4-2 at Old Trafford. The former Bayern Munich manager has also revealed his celebration plans should the 20-time English champions beat the league leaders. A win for United could see them move to the top of the table, depending on the result between Arsenal and Everton, as the Gunners can also end the weekend as the league leaders owing to their superior goal difference over the Red Devils.
"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," the Dutch manager is quoted as saying by United's official site.
"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," he added.