Pundit Paul Merson predicts that Manchester United will resort to Jose Mourinho-style tactics against Manchester City in tonight’s derby.
On the back of three defeats in their last five Premier League outings, United play host to City at Old Trafford needing to desperately avoid another loss to keep hopes of a top-four finish alive.
As things stand, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side sit three points behind fourth-place Chelsea with just four games remaining.
But last weekend’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at Everton is still fresh on everyone’s minds, with Merson doubting United will be able to bounce so quickly against City.
“Manchester United are just not very good. That was cringeworthy against Everton, watching one of the biggest clubs in the world get ripped apart. It was embarrassing and the players should be ashamed of themselves,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“I can’t see there being a reaction, these players aren’t good enough to turn it on one week and then not fancy it the next week.
“Watford went to Old Trafford the other week and should have come away with a result and West Ham as well. Everybody who is playing United at the moment looks disappointed if they don’t win.
“They need to work hard this week, which will not be enough, but it is the least they can do. To lose the way they did against Everton was mind-blowing. They should be honoured to play for that club and they embarrassed it.”
The former Arsenal star reckons United have no other choice but to resort to Mourinho’s “park the bus” tactics against City or else they have no chance.
The last Manchester derby meeting came in November, where City emerged as 3-1 victors following goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan at the Etihad Stadium.
“I don’t want to sound disrespectful but I can’t see how they turn it around after the result the other day. They can run around but they will have to park the bus. If they come out and try and play it will be 4-0 to City,” continued Merson.
“You will be watching a Jose Mourinho team. After he has gone, it’s one massive swing around, it’s taken six months to swing it all the way round to see them play the way that Mourinho got hammered for.
“They parked the bus against Liverpool in February but they were fortunate they had injuries so they were allowed to sit back and nobody said anything. They parked the bus in the first 20 minutes and never moved.”
The derby between City and United will begin at 21:00 (CET).