Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has insisted that his side are at a disadvantage heading into this weekend's derby fixture against Manchester City.
The Red Devils are set to play host to their neighbours on Sunday afternoon, but Van Gaal believes tonight's Champions League schedule gives a helping hand to the club's rivals.
United are set to take on CSKA Moscow in Russa this evening while their Premier League counterparts welcome La Liga outfit Sevilla to the Etihad.
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Van Gaal certainly isn't overjoyed with the calendar but admits it could be his side that benefit next time.
Speaking to reporters ahead of tonight's clash with CSKA, as per The Guardian, Van Gaal stated: “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.
Van Gaal has insisted, however, that preparation for the showdown with Manchester City will begin after the club's European fixture this evening.
The Dutchman continued: “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.”
Worry for United
Ultimately, Van Gaal is right; City will head into the derby with the advantage, but United still have enough time to prepare for the crunch showdown.
City will enter proceedings as the fresher side, of course, but it's up to the United players to make-do with the circumstances and focus on the fixture. First, though, Van Gaal and Co. will be hoping to return to English soil with another three Champions League points.
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