Pep Guardiola has been one of England’s most ecstatic managers this season as his City are side are still yet to record a Premier league defeat.
With Manchester City just a point shy of clinching the top spot from Arsenal, Guardiola and his men will be hoping to secure all three points as the host their neighbourhood red rivals this weekend.
Ahead of Sunday’s long anticipated derby clash, Pep Guardiola gives insights as to his teams injury concerns, advantages, and also United’s players to look out for in the fixture.
*Pep Guardiola on Aymeric Laporte*: “He’s training really well, trained alone when people were with the national teams…”
*Pep Guardiola on Erik ten Hag and Manchester United*: “I always expect the best, they have it for many years, they come with a resolve. Top side, against Southampton, Liverpool and Arsenal at home. The momentum is there…”
*Pep Guardiola on a ManCity physio joining Erling Haaland with Norway*: “It’s not weird. When there are European cups or World Cups, many physios go with players. Always I said to the club, the most important department is the physios. Erling struggled a lot in Dortmund…”
Pep Guardiola: “Most of the year injured, arrived at ManCity with problems after a small surgery in the summer. Worked with Mario and other guys. Thanks to them and other guys, he plays every game. Last season wasn’t possible…”
Pep Guardiola: “The clubs earn a lot of money when players can play and most of the time it’s thanks to the physios. Mario and Erling like eachother and he asked him to go to Norway.”
Pep Guardiola says ManCity will have ‘few, few, few’ training sessions between matches in the coming weeks, with every player having to play.
Pep Guardiola: “Some more than others, but everyone will be involved. Since I am a manager, I’ve been like that 11, 12 years ago, every three days a game. No surprise. Adapt, adjust, recover well with ice in the legs. Train specific what you need to improve…”
*Pep Guardiola on the Manchester derby*: “In Spain, Barcelona and Madrid, it is more noisy in the days before, more media, everything. The rest, in Germany, here, you can work. Enjoy to watch the derby…”
*Pep Guardiola on Manuel Akanji*: “He played really well, we cannot deny. He has all the skills we need. Professionally, an intelligent person. Another option that we have and it’s a long, long season…”
*Pep Guardiola on the Manchester derby*: “It’s important, big rival. Try to figure out what we’re going to do and what we can do to beat them. You don’t have to make extra emotion. The stadium will be full, supporters behind us, they know we’ll do our best…”
Pep Guardiola: “Surgery was good. He’s getting better, mobility. He took the right decision, otherwise he couldn’t move forward. Every training session or two, three times he was out. Hopefully he can be back in time for the World Cup and after with us.”
Pep Guardiola: “When you are on top, you have more rivals. In the middle, you have less rivals. Big rivals make you better. We have to play a perfect game [vs Manchester United]. They have qualities up front, physicality…”
*Pep Guardiola on Aymeric Laporte*: “A long time injured, what is important is in training he moves well, ability with the pass is exceptional. Important to come back in this crazy schedule. For him as well…”
Pep Guardiola: “Quality in the middle with [Christian] Eriksen, [Bruno] Fernandes, physicality with Casimero and [Scott] McTominay. United always like that, Old Trafford we’ve been better than at the Etihad but it’s our stadium, looking forward, prepared…”
Pep Guardiola: “Be up front, try to play up front. I prefer to be active than reactive. Teams have always been like this…”
*Pep Guardiola on the Alfie Haaland, Roy Keane incident*: “A long time ago. We try to be there, it doesn’t have to be a derby for these things to happen. Football is feelings, emotion…”
Pep Guardiola wants ManCity fans to be ‘active’ at the Etihad Stadium vs Manchester United.
Pep Guardiola: “We’re proud of what we’ve given to them [ManCity fans]… Go to the stadium it’s important we feel pressure of them. Demand the best. We need it, I want them to be active. It’s not just a football game. Demand the best of ourselves…”
Pep Guardiola: “If we decide to play with Aymer [Laporte vs Manchester United], we do it. But we don’t have to. We have Manu [Akanji], Ruben [Dias], Nathan [Ake]…”
Pep Guardiola: “We cannot be lazy. You need to express emotions and feelings, important. Here [in the head] is the decisions before you act. Be calm and take the right decisions to be calm. Anxious is difficult to take the right ones…”
*Pep Guardiola on Erling Haaland vs Lisandro Martinez*: “I like when people underestimate players for size. He can tell them, ‘I’m here and a good player’. He’s a fantastic player, aggressive, good build-up. United paid this money, Erik [ten Hag] knows him…”
Pep Guardiola: “It’s not the first time he’s played against taller strikers, he handles it. Important is to be intelligent, brave. The crosses, Erling [Haaland] is taller, we see what happens…”