Paul Parker: Even Hardened Man Utd Fans Can’t Believe They’ll Win The Derby

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Paul Parker: Even Hardened Man Utd Fans Can’t Believe They’ll Win The Derby
© PA sat down with former Manchester United defender Paul Parker ahead of this weekend’s Manchester derby.

The best betting sites  have Manchester City down as strong favourites to triumph at the Etihad Stadium.

United will be without Luke Shaw and Rasmus Hojlund for their trip across the city, as well as long-term absentee Lisandro Martinez.

That has made a daunting task even harder, as United attempt to upset a side that has amassed 15 more points than them this season.

Parker, who won two Premier League titles during a five-year spell at Old Trafford, believes most realistic United fans are not expecting much from Sunday’s game.

“Even the most hardened United fan cannot, and will not, believe that United are going to win that game,” Parker said. 

“I would like to see United have an organised and disciplined performance, where players do their jobs - a bit like what they did at Anfield [a 0-0 draw in December].

“They were never in with a chance of winning that game, but it was as disciplined a performance I’ve seen for a long, long time from any United side since Sir Alex [Ferguson] retired. 

“But they did that without Bruno Fernandes playing, so that was key in my opinion. It made a big, big difference.”

Parker recently told us that he believes Erik ten Hag should strip Fernandes of the captaincy and hand the armband to someone else.

And the former right-back has listed the qualities he believes Ten Hag’s side need to show to pick up a result against Manchester City.

“He needs to go there with players that he believes will give him energy, and are going to have a little bit of grit about them. 

“Given the numbers that he’s got, there aren't many of them around at Old Trafford.” 

City ran out 3-0 winners in the reverse fixture in October, as goals from Erling Haaland (two) and Phil Foden put United to the sword.

The Red Devils have lost five of the last six derbies, but while Parker acknowledges this fixture is currently one-sided, he does not think it will always be that way.

“Well, it was like that during and after my time, it was a one-sided derby in the opposite direction. 

“I don’t think this will go on as long as it did when it was the other way around (United being ahead of City). It will change at some time.”