Football

Man United's de Gea says Man City should be worried about them

Man United goalkeeper believes Citizens should be worried about his team in Manchester Derby

The pre-Manchester Derby talk has been dominated by whether Manchester United can stop English Premier League runaway leaders and arch-rivals Manchester City.

But, United goalkeeper David de Gea has turned the debate around, saying that fans should be mulling over how long City can hold off the Red Devils' challenge.

Pep Guardiola's men have strung together 13 straight wins to equal the English Premier League record for consecutive victories, a mark also held by Arsenal (2001/02) and Chelsea (last season).

United, who are eight points behind the leaders, have won four league games in a row, the last of which was an impressive 3-1 victory over an Arsenal side who until last Saturday had yet to drop points at the Emirates Stadium.

When asked by Sky Sports' Thierry Henry if his side can stop City, de Gea reminded the Arsenal legend of United's proud home record - the team have not lost at Old Trafford since September last year.

The 27-year-old Spaniard said ahead of Monday morning's (Singapore time) top-of-the-table clash: "Well, can City stop United as well, no?

"We play at home, with the fans, a special game of course, it's a derby. We feel really confident and want to win. We are in a really good moment.

"We won two difficult away games, so we are confident, we are strong, we know we play an important game and, like I said before, we really want to win."

City midfielder Yaya Toure is aware of the danger United pose, although he insisted that United - who will miss the services of the suspended Paul Pogba - will be doing the worrying rather than the other way round.

However, he is wary of Jose Mourinho's side staging a classic "smash and grab", which they executed to perfection in the win over Arsenal.

NOT BORING

The 34-year-old Ivorian said: "This year, when you see United, they are going to be worried about us. That's going to make them very dangerous on the counter-attack and we have to be ready for that.

"We will see the game they played against Arsenal a few days ago, we have to be careful...

"When I see United playing games against big teams, they always wait for a mistake to hit them on the counter-attack.

"With players like (Romelu) Lukaku, (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, (Jesse) Lingard, (Marcus) Rashford and (Anthony) Martial, they're very fast. We need to have a big performance."

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown pointed out that the tactical side to the derby is what makes the encounter such an intriguing one.

He foresees a scintillating clash in the high-stakes match.

Keown told the Daily Mail: "Mourinho will try to shut down the game, but that does not mean we are in for a boring encounter.

"Mourinho may see the win over Arsenal as one of his most perfect performances. Not just because of his rivalry with Arsene Wenger, but also because of how his team executed their plan.

"They pressed high, won the ball back well and packed a punch on the break. At the Emirates, Mourinho sent a message to Guardiola that United are still pushing City for this title.

"United will try to break as they did against Arsenal, but City will then look to exploit United when they do. For this reason, we are in for a cracker." - WIRE SERVICES

Football