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Manchester United v Manchester City: Gary Neville says Romelu Lukaku has to prove he’s a big game player in a game the Red Devils must win

The Belgian signed for Jose Mourinho's side for £75 million last summer

Friday, December 8, 2017

Manchester United have to beat local rivals Manchester City, according to former player Gary Neville.

The two sides face each other on Sunday evening in a game which could see Pep Guardiola's side stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League to eleven points with victory at Old Trafford.

Speaking on talkSPORT's Drive show, Neville also suggested that out-of-form striker Romelu Lukaku has a point to prove going into the clash.

Neville said: “United have to win. I think Jose Mourinho will think that as well. When you’re chasing a team down and quite a few points behind, you can’t expect other teams to do the damage on your direct opponents.

“Lukaku has got a great chance on Sunday to build his confidence in the sense it is a game where he will get chances, he will have space to run into.

“However, in the three or four big matches for United he hasn’t performed. He needs a big game against a big team.

“He has to prove that he’s a big game player. You have to do that if you’re a United centre forward."

The Sky Sports pundit also suggested that set pieces could be where the game gets won and lost.

He added: “I think set pieces is critical in this game. In City’s last three league games they have defended poorly from set pieces and I think the game could come down to something as simple as that.

“If City defend set pieces well the they have got a great chance of winning but if they don’t then I think they will have big problems.

“United will be aggressive. When a team is better at passing than you and has high levels of skill you have to make sure that you win your duels.

“The principles of the performance will be very simple. Aggressive in terms of making sure they are compact and aggressive in the defending. They’ll counter-attack well and they’ll want to score from set pieces and counter-attacks.

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