Andreas Pereira will look to use the hurt of Manchester United‘s wretched start as a catalyst to a season-changing victory against table-topping rivals Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have had a lot of soul-searching to do over the international break after the shock loss at embattled Newcastle left them just two points off the Premier League relegation zone.
Liverpool are looking to compound United’s worst start in 30 years on Sunday, when Jurgen Klopp’s men will aim for a record-equalling 18th successive top-flight victory.
All eyes will be on Old Trafford as the old foes do battle and Pereira believes this is the “perfect” match.
“We know the fans are hurting,” the 23-year-old midfielder said. “The players and everyone at the club, here at the training ground, hurts.
“Me, even more, because I’m a Manchester United fan and a player and I am here at the Aon Training Complex every day. It hurts not getting the results.
“Everybody is doing their best to get it turned around and I am sure it will happen.
“Everyone is working hard, even harder, and, sooner or later, when everyone is working hard, things get back to good ways.
“It’s a perfect game against Liverpool, a perfect derby, and we have to build up for it.”
Pereira was born in Belgium and plays for Brazil, but he was reared in the United academy and knows how important beating Liverpool is for everyone connected to the club.
“I think you can compare it with Boca Juniors-River Plate, Santos-Corinthians, Flamengo-Fluminense,” he told United Review.
“It’s one of the biggest derbies like El Clasico – Real Madrid versus Barcelona – and one of the biggest games, not only in England but in the world.
“Everyone will be watching and it’s most important for us, and for the fans.
“I always watched these games at home with my dad and my family. You know, I was always very curious and supporting United.
“I think it means a lot to us. It’s one of the most important games of the year – it’s the derby and we absolutely want to win this game.
“We will do absolutely everything to win it. I know we’re not living the best moment right now, and we’re not getting results, but I think it’s a derby and it is always a different game.
“Absolutely, we want to win it – everyone at the club, everyone in the team and the staff.
“We all want to do everything to win the game and it can be a nice bounce back and provide a nice lift for us to start getting results.”
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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ruled out of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool while goalkeeper David De Gea faces a scan and is a major injury doubt.
Pogba has been battling an ankle problem and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that the 26-year-old has suffered a setback in his recovery.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “Paul had an injury, he came back, he worked really hard. He came back and played a couple of games, maybe played through the pain barrier.
“He had a scan after the Arsenal game and maybe needed a few weeks’ rest in a boot so hopefully he won’t be too long, but he won’t make this game, no.”
De Gea was forced off in Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Sweden on Tuesday night and Solskjaer admits he is also likely to miss the Liverpool clash at Old Trafford.
“I think he’ll be out. It certainly looked like it anyway judging on last night so it’s just one of those things,” Solskjaer added.
The PA news agency understands De Gea is set to undergo a scan on a suspected groin injury.
United sit 12th and are 15 points adrift of fierce rivals and league leaders Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
Solskjaer was battling a lengthy injury list before the international break and De Gea’s issue further adds to those problems.
But the Norwegian is hopeful Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial may be fit to play some role at Old Trafford.
“I can’t tell you 100 per cent [who] is going to be fit as something might happen,” he added.
“But hopefully Aaron and Anthony will last the training this week and be available for selection. If it’s for half a game or 30 minutes I don’t know but let’s see where they’re at.”
Midfielder Juan Mata believes United can kickstart their season with victory over their arch-rivals.
Writing in his blog on the club’s website, Spaniard Mata said: “On Sunday we have a great chance to change the dynamic and we are all very motivated to take the win.
“We are United, we are playing at home and we will give everything to be able to take the victory that our fans deserve in such a special game.”
Mata said of De Gea’s injury: “The bad news from that game was that David wasn’t able to finish the match due to an injury problem after making some great saves. I hope that it won’t be anything major and he can be back with us soon.”
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson believes the club should stick with underfire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite the club having suffered their worst start to a season for 30 years.
Robson who was at Old Trafford from 1981-94 has backed Solskjaer’s faith in the current crop of United youngsters but believes that Marcus Rashford still has a lot to learn if he is to be the long-term striking solution for Untied.
United are currently 12th in the table, two points above the relegation zone, following their 1-0 defeat to Newcastle, and next face league leaders Liverpool, who are already 15-points clear of United ahead of their clash at Old Trafford following the international break.