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Arsenal legend heaps praise on Carrick and tips Manchester United to win derby

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has heaped praise on Manchester United’s unsung hero Michael Carrick for his performances since returning from injury.

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The Frenchman believes the veteran midfielder has played a key role in perfecting Louis van Gaal’s style at Old Trafford, and expects the Red Devils to celebrate a win over local rivals Manchester City in today’s Manchester Derby.

United lost at City earlier in the season and have a poor recent record against their neighbours, though they currently sit above Manuel Pellegrini’s side in the Premier League table after a strong run of recent form in the Premier League.

Writing in his column for The Sun, Henry has now backed van Gaal’s men to continue their fine recent form, though he admits anything can happen in this unpredictable season, saying he didn’t believe the Dutchman would turn things around so quickly at Old Trafford as a Champions League place looks secure.

“I have to be honest and admit that van Gaal has turned the team around quicker than I expected.

“I didn’t think they would finish in the top four this season but everything has clicked into place in the last three months and now we can see what a fine job he has done.

“He has been helped by having Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney playing in their best positions every week but everyone at United seems to have raised their game this year.

“Carrick is the man who has calmed everyone down. United are much more composed since he returned from injury because they now have a player who can pass the ball in the midfield traffic.

“Looking at today’s game, I expect United to win but I am not saying that with any great confidence.

“This has been a crazy, crazy season. I never thought United would finish in the top four nor Arsenal get into the top two.”

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