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Pep Guardiola hails ‘exceptional’ Ronaldo ahead of Manchester derby

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The Manchester City boss did not shy away from praising his opponents’ experienced star.

Manchester City will host Manchester United in their next Premier League clash on Sunday. The Citizens are trying to maintain their six-point lead on top of the table while Cristiano Ronaldo and co hope to continue their eight-game unbeaten run in the league.

Watford stunned the Red Devils last week, holding them to a painful goalless draw at Old Trafford. With Ronaldo struggling to convert United’s chances, Ralf Rangnick’s side have faced major problems upfront.

However, Man City boss Pep Guardiola believes his defenders must prepare to face a deadly forward tomorrow.

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“One of the greatest in the last 15 years alongside Messi,” Guardiola told a pre-match press conference of Ronaldo. “We aren’t going to see it again.

“When you achieve these things, you’re under scrutiny every day. He was too good and as a finisher, exceptional – a top player. It has [been] a joy to watch in these years.

“We have to exploit our game and strength to avoid him close to the ball. We have to control him—one of the greatest – a goalscoring machine.

“He is so strong mentally. He handles this pressure without a problem, [and] lives with expectation through his career in a positive way.”

Tomorrow’s game will be a great stage for Ronaldo to bounce back from his recent struggles at United. It will be interesting to see whether Rangnick’s side can surprise the bookmakers and stun the Citizens at Etihad.

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