Pep Guardiola fires warning to Man City players ahead of Man United trip

Pep Guardiola had some words of warning for his Man City players ahead of their trip to Man United on Saturday

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola (Photo: Oleh Dubyna / depositphotos.com)

Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City players that they must react quickly following their surprise League Cup exit as they prepare for Saturday’s derby showdown with Manchester United.

The Citizens suffered a 2-0 defeat by Southampton at St Mary’s in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, with first-half goals from Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenepo settling the encounter.

Manchester City’s players must now dust themselves down as they prepare for their crunch clash against Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.

The Red Devils have been in good form lately and have won four of their last five Premier League games to place them fourth in the table heading into this weekend’s showdown.

And Guardiola is confident that his players have the required mentality to bounce back from the disappointment on Wednesday night’s defeat.

Asked if he is expecting a reaction from his players for the derby, Guardiola said: “I think it is different, a different competition but of course if we perform in this way we will not have chance.

“I know the moment they have and many years they were looking forward to stay in this position so we know exactly what we have to do to play better so we will try to do it.”

Manchester City head into the game knowing that a win would take them to within two points of leaders Arsenal, who will travel to take on north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday.

Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag (Photo: Mark Cosgrove / depositphotos.com)

Meanwhile, Manchester United are believed to be closing in on the signing of Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst from Burnley.

Reports have suggested that the Red Devils have a “deal in principle” in place to sign the 30-year-old this month but the move has not yet officially gone through.

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra reckons that he could be a good addition to Ten Hag’s squad this month, comparing him to former Arsenal and Chelsea FC front-man Olivier Giroud.

“Reports are saying that Wout Weghorst looks set to sign for Manchester United, we’ve been here before, we’ve had so many players looking set to sign and we need to be careful, but he is a good player,” Evra told Betfair.

“As a player, what I like about him is he reminds me a little bit of Olivier Giroud. He plays with his back to goal, with his stamina, he’s strong physically and he knows how to keep the ball.

“He knows how to play in that fixed position, players like Rashford and all the team will enjoy playing with a player like that. Like Giroud, sometimes you just pass them the ball and you can run behind them.

“He’s a good finisher and he can finish with both feet. He’s strong in the air. That’s the kind of striker that I can see being successful if they sign for United.

“You can see that he’s not just a goal scorer, you can see that Ten Hag wants to have more control in matches and I think United’s problem is they are winning but they don’t control the games for 90 minutes and with those kinds of players, they let you breathe when you are under pressure.

“You can play the ball to him, on his chest, on his head and he will keep the ball or can make assists for other players. Tactically and technically, I think he could be a really interesting player for United.”

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