Kevin De Bruyne wary of threat posed by wounded Manchester United as he urges Pep Guardiola’s City side to end patchy derby record at Old Trafford
- Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is wary of the threat posed by rivals United
- The Red Devils were dumped out of the Champions League by RB Leipzig
- City go to Old Trafford on Saturday having lost both games to United last season
- Pep Guardiola threw his support behind the under-fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
And De Bruyne is wary that United will be a wounded animal after the midweek Champions League disappointment but plans to stamp an authority on the derby.
Kevin De Bruyne has urged Manchester City to end their patchy derby record at Old Trafford
‘They won last year so we need to try and make that right,’ the Belgian said.
‘We made a couple of mistakes and it was difficult to come back. We need to try to get an advantage with the chances we have and we need to be careful because given everything that has happened this week, it is a good game for them to flick the switch.
‘They will want to show a different side to what happened in Leipzig and we need to be aware of that. The derby has become bigger with us doing so well and battling for titles. I don’t think anyone needs to tell any player how important the derby is.’
United have favoured a counter-attacking style in recent meetings but De Bruyne claimed there is no reason why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side cannot operate in a more attractive way this time.
‘They have some new players and maybe they will play a bit more offensively,’ he said. ‘It depends how the game goes, who scores first. They played defensively and on the counter last season and picked us off really well.’
City lost both Premier League matches against local rivals Manchester United last season
Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, has thrown his support behind under-fire Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – but cautioned that results will dictate the Norwegian’s future.
Solskjaer’s position at Old Trafford came under increased scrutiny after United were dumped out of the Champions League by RB Leipzig.
Guardiola, whose Manchester City side go to Old Trafford on Saturday, believes Solskjaer has enough character to ride out the problems.
‘He’s an exceptional manager,’ Guardiola said. ‘I know, Ole knows, everyone knows it depends on results but I have a high opinion about his work at United.
‘When we win, we’re geniuses and when we lose, we have to be sacked. It happens at United and all the clubs around the world.
Pep Guardiola has thrown his support behind under-fire United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
‘That’s why we get a big salary – for these situations. It’s important to know the value of Solskjaer, he is there. He is strong enough and knows this job. We have to go there thinking we’re going to face the best version of them.’
United are a point ahead of City in the Premier League table, with both Manchester clubs having a game in hand on their title rivals.
Guardiola is wary of the counter-attacking threat United pose and how they rally late in matches.
‘We’ll try to play our game, to control them as much as possible and, yeah, to punish them,’ the Catalan added. ‘They know we that we’re going there to win the game, like we’ve always done. We know the quality they have. We cannot deny it.
‘They have an exceptional squad. I know they came back against West Ham, against Southampton and almost against Leipzig.’