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Manchester United duo excited to face Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday

Manchester United duo Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof have talked about their excitement ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. This season, City top the Premier League table eight points ahead of United, who have started the season well and are challenging for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

On Tuesday evening, the pair played in United’s final UEFA Champions League group match, earning a 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow, topping the group and qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition.

The focus now shifts to Sunday’s Premier League clash with United seeming to slim down the eight-point deficit City hold of the Old Trafford club. Mata, speaking to the official Manchester United website about Sunday’s clash, said:

“We have a few [Premier League] games until the next Champions League match, so our aim is to focus on the league – it’s a crucial period for us.”

Last season in the EFL Cup, United beat City 1-0 with Mata scoring the only goal of the game. United went on to lift the League Cup, beating Southampton in the final at Wembley, Jose Mourinho’s first major trophy as United manager. The Spanish attacking midfielder is looking forward to another victory over the blue side of Manchester. He said:

“The next match is even more special because we are playing first against second, and, if we get the three points, we can get closer in the table.”

Swedish defender Lindelof is excited about his first competitive Manchester derby after his £30.75 million transfer from Benfica in the summer. Lindelof has played in the last few United matches, playing three at the back, which has resulted in a trio of victories in the Premier League and continued with a victory over CSKA Moscow at the Theatre of Dreams on Tuesday evening, setting United up nicely for the derby on Sunday. Lindelof, speaking about this ‘massive’ game, said:

“I am very excited for the derby, if I get the chance to play. Right now, I am just happy for the win and that we have finished first in the group and, tomorrow, we think about the next game. It is going to be a massive game that we are all looking forward to.”

Over the past few weeks, United have been lowering the deficit in the league from eight points to five points, only for City to win and raise the deficit. United will be seeking to take it back to down to five points again, or see the ‘knowledgeable’ pundits say the season is over and City have won the league, despite the halfway point of the season not coming for another three matches after Sunday’s. United have a lot to gain from beating City, the last team to beat the side at Old Trafford on the 10th September 2016.

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