Kevin De Bruyne has described Paul Pogba as "an unbelievable" player and admits that he is disappointed the Manchester United midfielder will play no part in next weekend's meeting against Manchester City.
Pogba will sit out the first Manchester derby of the campaign due to a three-match domestic ban after being shown a red card in the 3-1 win over Arsenal.
United decided against appealing the decision, meaning that the France international will also sit out the upcoming league games against Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion.
Ironically, Pogba confessed prior to his suspension that he hoped to see City's big-name players sit the match out through injury, but De Bruyne insists that he would rather take on opponents United at full strength.
"I'm a very straightforward guy. If someone believes it is karma then OK. Everyone has their right to their opinion," he told reporters. "I don't want anyone to get injured. It's a competition, you want to play against the best teams and the best players.
"I don't care [what he says]. He can say whatever he wants. We just have to be focused on whatever we're doing. He's a massive player. I know him a little bit. He's unbelievable. He took a red card and that's the way it goes - you have injuries and suspensions."
United trail unbeaten league leaders City by eight points heading into Sunday afternoon's meeting at Old Trafford.