Pep Guardiola says he does not agree with suggestions Manchester United are a defensive side, and says he expects them to be “incredibly aggressive” in Sunday’s Manchester derby.
Manchester City visit Old Trafford on Sunday – live on Sky Sports – with United on a run of nine matches unbeaten in all competitions.
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After Liverpool drew 1-1 away to United in October, Jurgen Klopp said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side “just defended” – but Guardiola is not expecting a repeat on Sunday.
“For me it doesn’t look like that,” he said. “When I saw the last games, they’re incredibly aggressive. I think in Old Trafford, that’s going to happen. They are going to defend and we are going to control a lot.
Man Utd vs Man City
March 8, 2020, 4:00pm
“In some games they defend, but what I saw in the last games is a team that is aggressive.
“Always I believe that Man United is a strong team and playing good. The game they played at home, where we lost, they made a good 20, 25, 30 first minutes.
“Always I have a great respect and good opinion about Man United.”
Guardiola has won five of the 10 games he has played against United since becoming City’s manager in 2016, although his side have tasted defeat in two of the three encounters between the sides this season.
Comparing the Manchester derby to those he has experienced as either Barcelona or Bayern Munich manager, Guardiola said: “Always it is so nice.
“I love it – both teams, I think so. Always they are special. Of course the situation this season is different for the fact that we play to improve. To finish second but not to win the title.
“For them it’s so important, to qualify for next season to the Champions League.”
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