Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said his players must be able to stop Cristiano Ronaldo if they want to win the Premier League Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Saturday (6/11) night WIB. Guardiola has reminded his side to be aware of how crisp CR7 has been since returning to join the Red Devils – Manchester United’s nickname -.
Since returning to Manchester United, Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 11 appearances, including two when he saved the team against Atalanta (2-2) in the Champions League game on Wednesday (3/11) early morning WIB.
“United have one of the best players in history, a man who can be a goal scoring machine,” Guardiola said.
It will be Ronaldo’s first Manchester derby in over 12 years. The last time he appeared was when Manchester United won 2-0 against Man City on May 10, 2009. He opened the win with his free kick as the game lasted 17 minutes. As is known, at the end of the season CR7 moved to Real Madrid.
He has a good record in the Manchester Derby. In his previous 9 appearances, he has managed to bring the Red Devils to 5 wins, 1 draw and only 3 losses. In those 9 games, he scored 4 goals and 2 assists.
Ronaldo played his first Manchester Derby on December 13, 2003 at Old Trafford Stadium. At that point, the Red Devils were outweighing the Citizens 3-1. He was not hired by Sir Alex Ferguson until the 74th minute to replace Kleberson.
In this derby, Ronaldo will once again be manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s main prospect. Solskjaer will certainly be hopeful that Ronaldo will be able to continue the Red Devils’ slick streak when they meet the Citizens.
In the last five meetings, The Cirizens – Man City’s nickname – have only been able to secure one victory against MU. Of course, Man City have more motivation to improve their record of meeting their city rivals.
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“I know the game against Manchester United is the most important thing, we are going to create a good environment but you can’t imagine how important it was today,” Guardiola said.
Guardiola has less than 48 hours to prepare his players for the Manchester derby.
Meanwhile, MU has one more day. However, Guardiola tried not to complain about it. Moreover, his side need a win in this game after losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace in the last Premier League.
Man City sit third in the Premier League table with 20 points, five points behind Chelsea who sit in first place. Meanwhile, MU is ranked fifth with 17 points in 10 games.
MU certainly wants to get back on track to win the competition and in order to do that, he must overcome resistance from The Citizens.
After being humiliated by Liverpool with a crushing 5-0 English Premier League score, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changed his side’s tactics to 3-4-1-2, which resulted in a 3-0 victory at Tottenham Hotspur despite a draw when they traveled to Atalanta in the Champions League.
MU received good news ahead of the Manchester Derby later. Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof, who previously missed the game against Atalanta with injury, is certain he is ready to play.
Lindelof will replace Raphael Varane who suffered a hamstring injury when the Red Devils met Atalanta.
Without Varane, Lindelof’s return is vital for United. In addition, Solskjaer is now starting to consider using a three-way formation. Lindelof could be played from the first minutes against City to accompany captain Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly in the heart of MU’s defense. (Espn / OL-4)