Bruno Fernandes is one player we can bank on to start today’s Manchester derby. He will be hoping that the Reds can bounce back from our midweek disappointment in Europe by winning the derby against Man City.
Manchester United take on Pep Guardiola’s men at Old Trafford, off the back of Tuesday’s Champions League elimination, after suffering a 3-2 defeat against RB Leipzig to finish third in Group H on nine points.
Our attention now must be on domestic matters and Bruno Fernandes will lead the way as he has done since joining the club in January.
“You never have a perfect game to come off a defeat like that because you come out of the Champions League and it’s hard to take,” Fernandes explained to Manchester United’s official website.
“Obviously, you know in football, when you win a game like that [the derby], the past becomes history.
“So, for me, no [it doesn’t help the pain of Champions League exit]. For the people around the club: the supporters and fans, of course, it will help them to forget that defeat against Leipzig and going out of the Champions League.
“But, of course, we know winning against Manchester City will give us the spin we need to keep going.”
November’s Premier League Player of the Month first experienced the Manchester derby back in March, with the Reds beating City 2-0 at Old Trafford. That was the last time United fans were allowed into a game, pre-lockdowns.
But the Portugal international still managed to gather a good understanding of the fixture and what it means to everyone.
“I think derbies are good to play,” he said. “For supporters, it means [a lot]. I already played in a derby in Portugal, one of the biggest derbies we have: Sporting v Benfica.
“I know the feeling to play that kind of game, but I also know the feeling we players have to win those sorts of games because it means so much for the fans, for the supporters, for everyone in the club, but also for us it means a lot.
“We want to do well; we need to win in the Premier League and we want to do good performances against big teams so we can show that we are at the top, and that we can do much better.”
While our application will need to be at its best to beat City in the derby, the team must go into the game with the right mentality.
Fernandes is renowned for the hunger he shows in each performance, but it needs to rub off on the others today. Go out and make a statement.