Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has issued a brave statement to struggling neighbours Manchester United ahead of Wednesday’s huge derby at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were at the receiving end of a 4-0 demolition by Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, with United now losing six of their last eight matches in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, on the other hand, are in pursuit of winning back-to-back Premier League titles for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 2009. Manchester City need to win each of their last four league matches to achieve that feat but their cross-town rivals will be adamant to deny them another title.
Guardiola confirmed that they will have to play without their Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who suffered a muscular injury in Manchester City’s 1-0 win at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The Manchester City manager spoke ahead of the crunch derby game on Wednesday night. “It is a derby and all the times we play against United, the derbies are always special games and the players do their best for the fans the club”, said Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City have remarkably improved their away record at Manchester United. The Blues are on a run of five wins and a draw in their last seven league visits to Old Trafford, having not won a single game between 1974 and 2008.
The Spaniard was also asked about the recent failures at Manchester United, and he did not shy away from stating that the Manchester United fear factor is a thing of the past.
“It’s important that the club is structured well, like here, but I won’t comment on what happens at United. This club in the last decade grew a lot, it’s not scary any more to go to Old Trafford but we have to play at our best. Before it was maybe more difficult. The players Manchester City had in the last decade have made this game a little bit more equal”, claimed the City manager.
But Guardiola insisted that United’s abysmal performance against Everton would not help City’s cause, and he expects the “best Manchester United” in tomorrow’s crunch tie.
“I saw the game, I imagine what will happen against us. The game against Everton is over. I expect the best United tomorrow, I am sure. They are proud. Prepare the game as always, their strong points, their weak points and try to win the game.”
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will look to get one hand on the Premier League trophy with a statement win at Old Trafford putting more pressure on title-rivals Liverpool. Manchester United, on the other hand, will make it more difficult for themselves to achieve Champions League qualification if they were to lose the derby.