City and United look ahead to weekend's Manchester Derby

The two Manchester clubs suffered contrasting fortunes in the Champions League with City qualifying for the knockout stage as group winners and United being knocked out of the competition. Credit: PA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer underlined the importance of not "pressing the panic button" as Manchester United look to bounce back from their chastening Champions League exit against bitter rivals Manchester City.

Europa League football awaits in the new year after the Red Devils stumbled in Germany, where Tuesday's agonising 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig sealed their fate as a stunning start to Group H counted for nothing.

It was a gut punch that the Solskjaer's side need to pick themselves up from on Saturday evening as rivals Manchester City head across town to Old Trafford in the Premier League.

United were beaten by RB Leipzig and knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday night. Credit: PA

Pep Guardiola's men are in the unusual position of starting the game behind a United side that can welcome back Anthony Martial and may be able to call upon Edinson Cavani.

"Of course the group was disappointed on Tuesday night," manager Solskjaer said on the eve of the derby. "It's just natural.

"We really wanted to go through in that tournament. Now the reality is we're not, then we've just got to move on.

"It was a tight group decided by fine margins. I think you can see that in most of the games."

Solskjaer has said that his side is now focused on the derby and closing the gap on Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur.

The Manchester sides are separated by one point and are currently sitting just outside the top four with a game in hand over their rivals.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that striker Sergio Aguero will not be starting Saturday's game. Credit: PA

United have had mixed performances in the league this season but have won their last four games.

Asked how he prepares to face such an unpredictable side, Guardiola said: "By thinking we are going to face the best version of them and, especially, talk a lot about what we are going to do.

"It's not a knock-out game. It's three more points, important ones of course for the quality of the opponent, but there are a lot of fixtures to come."

Guardiola feels United's Champions League frustrations actually highlight the strength of his own side's achievement in qualifying for the last 16.

Guardiola said: "The margin in this level is so high and when it is so high big teams can be out.

"That is why, every time we win one game in the group stages, I say to the players, 'Well done guys, it's so difficult, you made an incredible job'.

"In the Premier League it is the same. Every game you are able to win is so complicated, so difficult. Every time we are able to do it it is a big compliment."

Guardiola, speaking at his pre-match press conference, reaffirmed the club's position that Sergio Aguero was not ready to start the derby.

The striker made a goalscoring return from a knee injury as a substitute against Marseille in midweek but, after the game, Guardiola said he would not be risked in the starting line-up at Old Trafford.