Pep Guardiola addressed the media on Friday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s big Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester United won this fixture last year and City will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the second half embarrassment.
Guardiola commented on the importance of the derby, which means so much to Blues and Reds alike — but he doesn’t think it’s the defining game of the season.
“(The Derby) means a lot to supporters and games against contenders are special but we are in November,” Pep said. “Maybe the game at Old Trafford will be more important. We are in a good run. United as well.
“(It’s historically been) difficult for City to beat United. United have won more of the games. We know what we have to do. On Saturday, we will speak with players and suggest to them what to do to win the game.”
Good news on the injury front with just Kevin De Bruyne out for the United game.
“Except Kevin [De Bruyne], they are all fit.”
Talk continues about City’s alleged measures to overcome Financial Fair Play, as revealed by Der Spiegel via Football Leaks. If true, it could lead to a UEFA probe, and Guardiola said City would have to accept their punishment if that’s the case.
“I said about that last Tuesday if you want to undermine what we’ve done, no problem. But if there’s something wrong, we will be punished. I hear what my club said to me and I trust a lot in them.”
Much of the derby day hype in recent years has been about Pep vs. Jose, but this time it’s more focused on City vs. United. Something the Catalan is thankful for.
“Thank you so much. At the end we are both good guys, more than you’d expect.”
The funniest part of the presser came when a journalist referenced Dani Alves’ comment that being coached by Guardiola is “better than sex”. Pep disagreed…
“I prefer the sex!” he responded.