Rangnick braced for derby challenge

Parker – Honest United fans would “take anything” from derby

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick says his side will face the biggest challenge of his tenure when they tackle Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon (Match odds – City 4/9, Draw 4/1, United 13/2).

The roles will be reversed on Sunday, with United doing all they can to dent the Citizens’ hopes for another title.

City spent so many years in United’s shadow, but Pep Guardiola’s men go into Sunday’s game three points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.

United still have something to play for as they try to secure a top-four spot, but they know that a positive result will go a long way to helping them achieve that.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in six games in all competitions, but Rangnick concedes that his team’s recent progress will be tested by their neighbours.

He told his club’s official website: “For us, it’s confirming the development of the team in the last three months.

“We’ve been unbeaten for the last 11 games [in normal time], we haven’t lost a single away game since I arrived, but we know this will be the biggest challenge so far.

“We haven’t played against a team of that kind of quality. It’s about confirming (our) development on Sunday against one of the best teams in the world.”

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Rangnick will welcome back Scott McTominay and Edinson Cavani, but media reports suggest Cristiano Ronaldo will play no part in Sunday’s contest.

Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw were not seen at the team hotel on Saturday, and that will give City the advantage, even though they are without centre-back Ruben Dias through injury.

Sunday’s early Premier League game sees Watford host Arsenal at 14:00. The Hornets are in desperate need of three points as they sit in the bottom three, while the Gunners can go above United with a win (Match odds – Watford 13/2, Draw 10/3, Arsenal 1/2).

Watford are without Ismaila Sarr, but Kiko Femenia could return from injury.

Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is due to return from illness, but Gunners boss Mikel Arteta may be without Takehiro Tomiyasu due to a calf injury.

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