Ashley Young believes Manchester United will go into Sunday’s Manchester derby with all the momentum, but warned against underestimating City and insisted United had not secured a top-four finish yet.
United’s 3-1 over Aston Villa on Saturday coupled with City’s 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday saw United moved into third place, a point ahead of their local rivals, who led United by nine points in January.
Wayne Rooney has described the Manchester derby as “a massive game of pride” ahead of Sunday’s all-Mancunian fixture against City at Old Trafford.
United have won just two of their last nine derbies, with only of those wins coming at Old Trafford, but arrive into Sunday’s game as the in-form side in the league, having won their last five league games, while City have fallen a point behind Louis Van Gaal’s men.
Certainties were at a premium when Louis Van Gaal arrived at Manchester United in July.
Expectations and hopes abounded after a disastrous season under David Moyes, but the canvas in front of the Dutch manager was largely blank by the time he stepped into the United dressing room for the first time.
Marouane Fellaini has urged Manchester United to pile the pressure on City in the Manchester derby this Sunday, insisting that they “have to do everything” to get the better of Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
A remarkable turnaround in form has seen United win five league games in a row, with wins against Spurs and Liverpool consolidating their grasp on a top four spot, while City have suffered a slump in form and arrive at Old Trafford a point below United.
Mark Clattenburg will referee the Manchester derby this Sunday in what is likely to an even more fiercely contested affair than usually, given United and City go into the game separated by a single point.
Widely regarded as one of the best referees in the Premier League, Clattenburg has refereed United three times this season, sending off two United players in the process.
Alan Smith has admitted he never thought Manchester United would sign him and that the opportunity to play for Sir Alex Ferguson was too good to turn down.
In an interview with Andy Mitten on the Manchester Evening News, the former United man, now playing for Notts County in League One, revealed some interesting details over what brought him at Old Trafford.
Louis Van Gaal has been shortlisted for the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month award for March, as a recognition for Manchester United’s much-improved form over the last month.
United won all their three league games in March, beating Newcastle at St James’ Park courtesy of a late Ashley Young goal, before losing at Arsenal at home in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao has admitted it would be an honour to play for Manchester United if the club came calling in the summer.
The Portuguese international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for the past two seasons and reports in Spain suggest Louis Van Gaal could try to lure the 27-year-old to Manchester this summer.