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22nd Apr 2019

Virgil Van Dijk: Manchester United ‘need to do themselves a favour’ against City

Kyle Picknell

Van Dijk is fanning the flames ahead of the Manchester derby

After a disastrous performance in a 4-0 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, Manchester United have it all to do in their bid to secure Champions League football next season.

As you will no doubt be aware, they have the small challenge of their cross-city rivals and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City visiting Old Trafford on Wednesday in a game that will have huge implications for the race for the title, as well as the top four.

The table, as it stands, sees United two points behind both Arsenal and Chelsea in sixth, whilst City sit two points off league leaders Liverpool, albeit with a game in hand and superior goal difference.

When asked whether his team were expecting any favours from their historic rivals in the build-up to Wednesday’s game, Liverpool centre half Virgil Van Dijk’s response was a brutally honest one given the tailspin Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men currently find themselves in.

“They need to do themselves a favour,” Van Dijk said. “Everton is not easy to beat at home, but 4-0 is a big result.

“We have no influence on that, but they are still playing for Champions League football and they need to get a result.”

Ouch. It doesn’t sound like he’s too confident Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and co will be able to put up a fight against Guardiola’s side.

In terms of the perspective of the Liverpool players themselves, and perhaps knowing they can’t rely on City to drop points, Van Dijk told RTE: “We have three games left and we are going to try and win all of them. It’s going to be very hard, but that’s what we’re looking to do.

“We did our job (at Cardiff). We had to stay patient, but it was a very mature performance and it was good to get the three points.

“Our next challenge is going to be on Friday (against Huddersfield Town), so we’ll see.”