Man City's schedule a derby advantage, says Louis van Gaal
Last Updated: 21/10/15 7:47pm
Manchester City’s Champions League schedule will provide them with an advantage in the Manchester derby, according to Louis van Gaal.
United meet City for the first time this season on Sunday at Old Trafford, but before then face CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
United face an eight-hour round trip to the Russian capital, while City will remain in Manchester as they host Sevilla at the Etihad Stadium.
Van Gaal feels Manuel Pellegrini's side will benefit from staying at home.
"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 United manager said.
"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 practice so the freshness is good enough to beat City. But first we have to beat Moscow."
United made the 1,600-mile journey east on Tuesday - the night before they face Group B rivals CSKA.
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To help their recovery, the squad will stay in Russia on Wednesday night, rather than travel home straight after the match, as is customary.
Van Gaal also bristled at suggestions Marcos Rojo, who used to play for Spartak Moscow, is not realising his potential at United.
"I didn't know that he played for Spartak but I have seen him in the World Cup in Brazil and he did it very well and he played also for Sporting Lisbon, there I have analysed him," Van Gaal said.
"What I like is that he is physically a very strong guy, a good header and his pass is fast.
"That we need, always. There is the potential in him to be a very good player for Manchester United."