City expecting difficult derby against 'aggressive' United attack, says Guardiola

Manchester City is on top of the Premier League on 66 points after 27 matches, while Manchester United is fourth on 47 points. Despite the gap in points between the teams, Pep Guardiola says he expects a competitive derby on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City is looking to complete a league double over Manchester United after winning 2-0 in their last Premier League meeting in November.   -  Getty Images

Manchester United has an aggressive attack and it will pose a difficult challenge to Manchester City in Sunday's derby in the Premier League, manager Pep Guardiola said.

City is on top of the Premier League on 66 points after 27 matches, while rival United is fourth on 47 points. Despite the gap in points between the teams, Guardiola said he expected a competitive derby on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium. Sunday's fixture is set to be the 50th Manchester derby in the Premier League.

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City is looking to complete a league double over United after winning 2-0 in their last league meeting in November. "United, upfront and in the middle, have experience with (Paul) Pogba and (Nemanja) Matic, incredible energy with Fred, speed on the sides," Guardiola told reporters on Friday.

"Central defenders, (Raphael) Varane, (Harry) Maguire, (Victor) Lindelof all of them are experienced. I see this, I don't see 19 points behind," he added.

"They are more aggressive upfront, the moments they are intense, they drop and the boys at the side are deep runners. They have qualities," he continued.

The City manager also heaped praise on United's interim boss Ralf Rangnick: "The work he did in Germany is exceptional.... He came here and you start to see some patterns of what he wants to do."

City has been handed a blow with defender Ruben Dias ruled out for four to six weeks due to a hamstring injury, while Nathan Ake will miss Sunday's game.

"In other seasons, our best players have been out for months. I'd love him (Dias), but he's not there, I won't cry. It is what it is," Guardiola said.

"We have decent players available. We have 14-15 players. With these players we are going to fight and try to play good," he added.

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