Pep Guardiola is not happy. This week he’s been dealed two new injuries and spoke at length ahead of the derby. Let’s dive straight in.
Pep on injuries
“Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake are not available for Sunday,”
“One of our best players, Kevin De Bruyne, was out for eight or nine months.
“I am not going to cry. We have two central defenders, but it is what it is.
“People said we were lucky with Covid, but we have only 15, 16 players (available) in the last months.
Pep on mentality
“We will fight. We want to play good, have good behaviours and movements. And hopefully our people can support us like they always do. “
“Football must be played with emotion, otherwise it would be boring,”
Pep on the Derby
“It’s true we won a lot there more than here, but [there is] no specific reason [for that],” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s happened, but in all the games we were proposing more [in attack] and we were punished on the counter attack, which is there strength and their quality.
“When they can run with Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Anthony] Elanga, [Marcus] Rashford, Jadon Sancho, they are unstoppable.
“They are faster, quicker and that’s why we are going to defend for the first time deeper and use the counter-attack for 90 minutes.”
Pep on importance of this match
“It has to be played with energy and passion, but you have to control emotions, and this is the most important thing.
“I know how important the derby is for our fans but we don’t play to win the derby, we play to win the Premier League. Winning the Derby helps us to win the Premier League, so nothing changes.
“I want to win it because I know how close our opponents are. We have to win nearly all the games to be champions. We know exactly what we have to do, but it is not for the pleasure to win [the derby] and that’s all.
“In previous seasons we have lost to United at home and still win the Premier League. That’s OK. I will sign right now to lose on Sunday and still win the Premier League.
“It’s not a cup game. It’s 38 games, so just play the game. Good vibe, good energy on the pitch.
“I don’t see the table and see United 19 points behind us. I see them and think they are good because they are. That’s all.”
Injuries stink, but Pep has two good options and should be fine. His comments on everything else were noteworthy. Pep and the team should be more than ready.