Paul Merson expects Manchester United to “park the bus like a Jose Mourinho team” against Manchester City and says their display against Everton was “cringeworthy”.
United were thrashed 4-0 at Everton on Sunday as they suffered their sixth defeat in their last eight matches.
They have a chance to respond and dent City’s Premier League title ambitions when they meet at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the game is “the perfect one” to bounce back from defeat at Everton, but former England international Merson does not agree.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
United were beaten 3-1 by City earlier in the season but managed to hold Liverpool to a goalless draw when they met in February.
Merson thinks they will defend deep and look to frustrate City, an approach that led to criticism of former manager Mourinho, who was sacked in December and replaced by Solskjaer.
“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.
“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.”