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Manchester Derby: Pep Guardiola Will Not Underestimate Man Utd Despite Injury Crisis



Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager, does not think Manchester United will be an easy opponent in Sunday’s derby at the Etihad Stadium.

United suffered a depressing home loss to Fulham last week, which dropped them to 15 points and four spots behind City in the Premier League. Important players like Rasmus Hojlund, Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez, and Harry Maguire are also absent. The Catalan said he was expecting City’s rivals to pose a threat, pointing out that United had previously gone undefeated in the new year.

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“They went to Luton and beat them, Wolves and beat them, Aston Villa to go and win a few weeks ago. They have the biggest quality,” Guardiola told a press conference. “From one action they create something special with set pieces, transitions. Always have been demanding, when they play good, they will win. In 2024 they lost just one game, the consistency is there. [We will] prepare tactically, what we have to do to get three points.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the new minority shareholder of United, has pledged to ‘knock City and Liverpool off their perch’ and hopes to win another league title in the following three years. Although Guardiola remained silent regarding Ratcliffe’s goals, he did agree that United had faced significant challenges in trying to reclaim their position at the top since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. “Big clubs, you have to win. Not easy for United, an incredible period with Sir Alex. It’s not easy,” Guardiola added. “The big clubs used to have more patience, now there is a lot of pressure. I don’t know the reason why, I’m not there.”


Guardiola has the best record of any City manager versus United, having won 11 of his 20 Manchester derbies, drawn twice, and lost seven. Additionally, he has made the Cityzens the dominant team in English football.

The Manchester derby marks the start of a demanding month for City, which also includes matches against Newcastle in the FA Cup quarterfinals, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Arsenal in the Premier League, as well as a second leg of the Champions League last-16 against Copenhagen. “How nice [to have this run of fixtures],” Guardiola continued. Since coming here, we have worked hard to experience these kinds of situations.”