April 10, 2015 16:28:19 UK
Robin van Persie is not fit enough to return for Manchester United’s derby clash against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Netherlands international has been back in training following the ankle injury he suffered during United’s last defeat – a 2-1 reverse against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in February.
He trained two days with us and, today, he had recovery. So I think that is not enough to play.
Louis van Gaal
Van Persie claimed earlier in the week that he was fit enough to return against City, but United boss Louis van Gaal has confirmed at his press conference on Friday afternoon that he is not yet ready to feature for the first team.
Van Gaal said: “He’s back in training sessions so that is a plus. He trained two days with us and, today, he had recovery. So I think that is not enough to play.”
The Dutch tactician had mixed news on defenders Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw as the Red Devils look to avoid a fifth straight defeat against their neighbours and make it six league wins on the bounce.
Van Gaal added: “We have to wait and see always [on Smalling and Shaw]. I don’t think Shaw [will play] but I do think Smalling can play.”
United, who are 5.00 to win the Premier League without Chelsea, can be backed at 2.62 to defeat City and move four points clear of them in the table. City are 2.87 to win and jump back into at least third position, while the draw is 3.40.
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