Ander Herrera says Liverpool fixture is bigger than derby for Manchester United

Old Trafford

Ander Herrera has claimed that a fixture against Liverpool is still the biggest rivalry for Manchester United.

United host local rivals Manchester City on Sunday with the chance to leapfrog their ‘noisy neighbours’ at the summit of the Premier League table.

Last season’s meeting at Old Trafford ended in a United romp, as Louis van Gaal’s side cruised to a 4-2 win back on April 12, and the Red Devils head into the game with four wins out of their last five games in the division.

Van Gaal’s charges were held to a 1-1 draw by CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday, but free-scoring City have plundered 11 goals in their last two domestic meetings.

Ahead of the clash with City, Herrera talked up the importance of the Manchester derby, but the former Athletic midfielder admitted that it is the game with 18-time champions Liverpool that is still the biggest to all connected with the club.

Herrera told Sky Sports News: “I know for our fans and our people, the game against Liverpool is bigger, but this [derby game] is also very, very important too.

“Now Manchester City is ahead and first in the table, it is a challenge for us and it is a possibility to be first on Sunday night.”

Like United, City also have a Spanish contingent of their own, with the likes of David Silva and Jesus Navas as well as Pablo Zabaleta and Sergio Aguero, who also speak Spanish, and while Herrera admits he is cordial with the Citizens’ stars, he doesn’t look too far outside of Old Trafford for friends in Manchester.

“Sometimes you see [Manchester City’s Spanish players] and you say hello to them, but my friends are in my team,” he added.

“I have Juan Mata, David de Gea and the South American players. I have my friends in my team and also the English guys too. I always say the same, nice country, nice city and it is the biggest club.

“I am living the dream. I am in Manchester United and they are one of the best. I think the moment when I get to Old Trafford is when you really realise who you are playing for. When you play football and you love this game, you are always thinking about getting better and better.”

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch