Pep Guardiola branded Manchester United as ‘so strong in all departments’ and pinpointed their attacking speed, the brilliance of Bruno Fernandes and experience of Edinson Cavani as their major threats.
Guardiola’s Premier League-leading Manchester City welcome second-placed Manchester United to the Etihad on Sunday afternoon as they look to maintain their staggering 28-match unbeaten run.
United, however, are on a 21-match unbeaten streak in away Premier League matches and represent a significant threat to City’s incredible run.
Guardiola is a big admirer of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and picked out the biggest challenges in facing them.
‘They are so strong in all departments,’ said Guardiola. ‘Defensively. Bruno Fernandes, the speed upfront with [Dan] James, [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial.
‘The experience of Cavani, a player I admire the most for what he’s done with his career. It’s Manchester United.
‘It’s a privilege to compete with them, to be infront of them. Tomorrow is no exception. It’s our target to do what we’ve done later.’
City and United played out a 0-0 draw earlier in the season, with Guardiola opting for both defensive-minded Fernandinho and Rodri in his midfield, but he insists he’s not ‘scared’ of the Red Devils.
‘They know for all the times at Barcelona and Bayern when I played United I have an incredible respect,’ added Guardiola.
‘Some of the decisions depends on the circumstances, fitness, Covid, momentum. We take decisions for many reasons.
‘Scared is not the right word to explain when I approach one opponent. Respect, but I can lose and win and I prepare the games to beat the opponents.
‘We know the quality they had, I was impressed ow they played at Stamford Bridge, intensity, rhythm, pressing, brave in many areas. We try to win it.’