MX23RW : Sunday, May 19 21:22:33| >> :600:2256870:2256870:

Pep Guardiola expects to face "the best United" at Old Trafford

Guardiola expects to face
© Reuters
Manchester City have lost just once there in their last seven Premier League visits.

Pep Guardiola believes Old Trafford is no longer scary for Manchester City.

City suffered a lot at the home of their neighbours Manchester United prior to their takeover by Shiekh Mansour, failing to register a victory there between 1974 and 2008.

That has changed in recent times and City – who head across town for a crucial derby on Wednesday – have lost just once there in their last seven Premier League visits.

City boss Guardiola said: “I don’t make theories about what happened in the past or for what is going to happen in the future. Every game is completely different from the previous one.

“The most important reason why is maybe the fact this club, in the last decade, grew a lot and that is why it is not scary to go there when before it was more difficult.

“The players Manchester City have had in the last 10 seasons have made this game a little bit more equal when before the gap was bigger. Maybe that is the reason but honestly I don’t know.”

This week’s encounter could have huge implications in the title race.

Victory for City would take them back to the top of the table having played the same number of games as title rivals Liverpool. With three matches to go, they would then be clear favourites for the crown.

There is plenty at stake for United as well, however. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side need points in their battle for a top-four place and they also need to restore pride after their 4-0 humbling at Everton on Sunday.

Form is certainly on City’s side, with United having lost six of their last eight in all competitions, but Guardiola says that counts for little.

He said: “(There are) four games left so we have to win all four games to retain the title.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne will miss the match due to injury (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It is not an easy place to go but at the same time, it is a nice place to go. We know exactly what we have to do. They fight to finish in the top four and fight for the title. We are going to go there to play a good game.

“I expect the best United. They are bright. Football players, they have pride and try to do their best and tomorrow that is going to happen.

“We will prepare for the game as always, what they do with their strong points and weak points and try to win the game.”

City will be without playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who faces a spell out after suffering a hamstring injury against Tottenham at the weekend.

Guardiola hopes the Belgian could return before the end of the season.

He said: “It is a muscular problem and we will see in the next days but tomorrow is not available.”

Guardiola, speaking at a press conference, dismissed suggestions £60million record signing Riyad Mahrez could leave the club after a frustrating season.

He said: “Riyad Mahrez will be with us for the next season here, and the next one, and the next one.

“We are delighted with his behaviour and the way he plays. Riyad is not going to move. He is happy, we are happy.”

Click here for more stories about Pep Guardiola

Click here for more stories about Manchester United

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
/esi/758/0/index.html - esi:0:site:0:-p-: {0}: - :T758:-: {0}: < ! - - T  758 {0} - - >  : 
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League Playoffs
Greek Superleague Relegation Playoffs
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Welsh Premier League Playoffs
Segunda Division
Eredivisie Promotion Playoffs
Major League Soccer
Liga MX Playoffs
Uruguayan Primera Division
A-League Finals
Chinese Super League
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account