Erik ten Hag’s side travel across the city to the Etihad Stadium to take on last season’s Premier League champions for the first Manchester derby of 2022-23.
United look revitalised under the Dutchman since losing 4-0 at Brentford in August – going on to record impressive wins over Liverpool and Arsenal – and are looking to register their fifth top-flight victory in a row.
But they face a massive test against second-placed City, who are unbeaten after their opening seven games of the season.
City beat United both times when the sides met in the top-flight last season, with the Red Devils last beating their rivals towards the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
But 29-year-old France international centre-back Varane, speaking to French outlet L’Équipe, highlighted the importance of beating teams like City and Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s meeting and what it means to the fans.
‘The rivalry is mainly from the supporters, it’s important for them and we respect that,’ Varane said.
‘We want to make them happy, so we want to fight and win against teams like [Manchester] City and Liverpool.
‘You have to feel what the fans want from you and what they want. It’s very important.’
Former City defender Nedum Onuoha feels United do not need to play well to beat his former club.
‘You’re always a little nervous, as much as City are great and win so many games, there is always this nagging doubt [about the Manchester derby],’ he told ESPN.
‘Manchester United, when they play against Manchester City, they don’t have to play well to get a result.
‘When you spend most your life seeing the red side beat the blue side, it does affect you. City are favourites and for United it’s a great test for them.
‘The win against Arsenal was good for them, can they take the momentum they have gained to the Etihad?
‘How will they play the game? It’s tactically very interesting, and they’ve got a bit of firepower as well.’
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