Spanish Pep Guardiola, coach of Manchester City, whose team will compete in the Manchester derby and the Premier League summit on Sunday, said that playing at Old Trafford is always a unique event.
City, the defending champion, occupies second place in the table, 6 points behind its eighth-placed neighbor.
“Pep” explained – to reporters today, Friday – that, “When I was coaching in Barcelona and Bayern Munich and I traveled to England to play with United at Old Trafford, the matter was always special and carried special scenarios… It is a special place, and of course it is special for our fans.”
He continued, “In the end, it is a football match. It is not like the FA Cup final or matches in which winning or losing can determine who wins or loses the Premier League title… It is still the (tenth of the season) match, so there are 87 remaining.” “A point we will play for, it’s another game.”
Guardiola added that Sunday’s match with Manchester United (the 91st derby between the two teams) will be a good test of his team’s mentality.
He continued, “We won a lot (of matches and championships). It’s not about whether we win or not. What will happen? I want to see my team prove that it has the right mentality it needs to win these matches.”
The team, which won three titles last season, lost two consecutive matches in the Premier League before the international break, but recovered with two victories over Brighton in the Premier League and Young Boys in the Champions League.
United, led by Erik Ten Hag, won three consecutive matches, including a thrilling 1-0 win over Copenhagen in the Champions League last Tuesday.
City defeated United 6-3 at home last season, but lost 2-1 at Old Trafford.
The Citizens also defeated Al-Manio in the FA Cup final in the same year and continued to equal United’s achievement by winning the treble in 1999.
Guardiola stressed, “It’s okay, it’s a good competition. We won the treble. For us, it was very important for us as a team to reach Istanbul (for the Champions League final) to have the opportunity to do that.”
The Spanish coach concluded that it is too early to know which teams will compete for the Premier League title.
He concluded by saying, “All teams are in the competition. Some teams that were a little late can come back… When you play only 9 matches, many things will happen after that. We were late in February and March, but we had the ability to win.”