By Dave Marshall
With the hugely anticipated Manchester derby less than 48 hours to go, Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has started the mind games of his own by praising his long-term rival, Jose Mourinho who is the boss at Manchester United. Mourinho had stoked the fires of what promises to be a huge match on Sunday by claiming that Guardiola was lying about the fitness of playmaker, David Silva but Pep has a word of praise for Mourinho.
City head into the clash 8 points clear at the top of the table knowing that a win would affect the Red Devils psychologically, but with a United side that has looked good by overcoming two potential tough opponents in Watford and Arsenal, the match is not likely to be without fireworks.
After a dour first season as a pair in the Premier League last season, the rivalry between Jose and Pep has gone up another notch this season, as the Manchester clubs have set the pace for the rest of the league. Both clubs were locked head to head at the beginning of the season, but City have pulled clear of us in recent months, meaning that anything short of a victory will hand the advantage of the title to City.
Chelsea won the league at a canter last season with both Manchester clubs failing to mount a serious title challenge but Jose had an upper hand by winning two trophies.
Speaking about Jose in the pre-match conference ahead of the clash, he said, “Definitely. In that, we are twins. They want to win trophies, we want to win trophies.
“I think Antonio Conte is the same as well, and Jurgen (Klopp) and Mauricio (Pochettino), and in all the leagues around the world, the managers are there.
“I never criticise my colleagues for the way they play. I never did in the past, I will never do it. “Football is magnificent for that, because every manager plays in the way they play. There are different ways to enjoy football. It’s simple like that.” he added.
City will be looking to win a 14th consecutive match in the league, which would set a new record of most games won in a single league campaign while United will be looking to go 41 matches unbeaten at Old Trafford, which would set a new club record, with our last defeat at The Theatre of Dreams coincidentally coming against Manchester City, a 2-1 defeat in September 2016.