Video - Van Gaal says City are favourites to win at Old Trafford
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has played down expectations around his team after claiming neighbours Manchester City are favourites to win Sunday's derby showdown at Old Trafford.
City are without first-team stars Sergio Aguero and David Silva for the match against Manchester United this weekend, but Van Gaal, who had to endure a 3,200-mile round trip to Moscow in midweek, thinks his team are underdogs for the 170th meeting between the two sides.
The Dutchman said: "When you look at the facts they are first (in the league) so they are favourites, I think.
"I hope that we have recovered from Russia. We have done everything to help the recovery for the players.
"We did it already in the hotel. We stayed in the hotel the next day, we had a smooth flight, after the flight we came to the AON Training Complex for recovery, we didn't train too much today.
"We have to afford and we have to recover.
"It's still a match at a high level and a big travel and we know that in advance and we have done that."
Van Gaal is hoping to take emotions out of the game that means so much to all football lovers in Manchester as he stated:
"You have to do your work more rationally and not emotionally.
"I think for the fans it's very emotional. I live in a little village and there it is also the talk of the town. I think in Manchester it is more.
"We have to do our work and prepare our game. We have one day less so it's more difficult.
"We have to do the meetings in shorter time which is more difficult for the players but that is what we have to do and we are doing and we have to hope we beat Manchester City."
The cover of the matchday programme for Sunday's match has been revealed, with this design winning a competition saw a host of entries submitted:
And just to whet the appetite ahead of the big game, here are a few memories of classic goals in Manchester derbies over recent years:
Still, it's always good to take another look at the goal that clinched a thrilling 4-3 win! https://t.co/7lKne5p1A5— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 23, 2015
Two great goals, but you chose Rooney's derby strike as your favourite ahead of Owen's. https://t.co/Qmp7Uzcxok— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 23, 2015