Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City are no longer scared of going to the mythical Stadium Old Trafford ahead of Wednesday’s derby showdown.
Guardiola stoked up the pressure ahead of the visit to local rivals United, knowing their title credentials will be stretched to yield point considering both sides have something at stake.
United are keen on returning to winning ways after the 4-0 drubbing at Goodison Park.
"It’s not scary any more to go to Old Trafford but we have to play at our best." pic.twitter.com/CLpmLgOpvC
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) April 23, 2019
The Citizens manager can wax lyrically strong about his side’s chances looking at the record in recent seasons – City have won five and drawn one of their last seven visits to Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Man City failed to record a win there in the league for 34 years between 1974 and 1988.
But United fans can take solace from the fact Guardiola was beaten by Mourinho in the League Cup at Old Trafford.
“The reason why is the fact this club in the last decade grew a lot and it’s not scary to go there,” said Guardiola via the Mirror.
“Before it was maybe more difficult. But the players Manchester City had in the last decade have made this game a little bit more equal.
“The only question is the Premier League, winning the title.
“In the three seasons since I’m here, we did better than them but here it’s about winning the title, not beating United.”
Guardiola said he will warn his players to expect a backlash from United following their humiliating 4-0 defeat at Everton.
📅 April 2013: United 1-2 City ✅
📅 March 2014: United 0-3 City ✅
📅 September 2016: United 1-2 City ✅
📅 December 2017: United 2-3 City ✅
— Manchester City News (@ManCityMEN) April 23, 2019
“I expect the best United tomorrow, I’m sure,” said Guardiola. “They’re bright.
“Football players try to do their best and tomorrow is going to happen. We prepare for their strong points and weak points.
“It’s a derby and all the times we play against United, the derbies are always special games and the players do their best for the fans the club.
“I saw the game [United’s defeat at Everton] and I imagine what will happen against us. The game against Everton is over.”