Saturday 16 December 2017

Liverpool legend backs Jose to beat Pep in Manchester showdown

Pep Guardiola, centre, and Jose Mourinho, right, are set to clash in Manchester
Pep Guardiola, centre, and Jose Mourinho, right, are set to clash in Manchester
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has backed Manchester United to overcome local rivals City in Saturday’s eagerly anticipated derby game at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The battle between new United manager Jose Mourinho and recently appointed City boss pep Guardiola is being billed as one of the biggest Premier League games in recent memory.

Video - Zlatan taunts Man City ahead of derby day showdown with cheeky dig at new goalkeeper 

The suspension handed down to City striker Sergio Aguero after he was retrospectively banned by the Football Association following a clash with Winston Reid in City’s last match against West Ham could be crucial in the outcome of the game, with Souness suggesting the red half of Manchester will be celebrating on Saturday.

“I think Man United at home will edge it,” Souness told talkSPORT.

“With City, I’m not sure if all the players are grasping want the manager wants right now - that might take a bit of time.

“I’m just thinking the firepower Man United have might be the difference. And (Sergio) Aguero not being there – he is a worldy for City and when he doesn’t play the stats are very different.”

Former Rangers manager Souness also offered his thoughts on the first Old Firm derby, as he suggested the passion set to be on display on Saturday for the first league clash between the two Glasgow giants in four years will be unrivaled in world football.

Read more: Comment: Make no mistake, Pep Guardiola is even more ruthless than rival Jose Mourinho

“It doesn’t matter what you have done in the game, being involved in that game is quite unique,” he added.

“You cannot get caught up in the moment and I wish someone told me that when I was playing up there, but it is a special fixture.

“Celtic obviously start as favourites. Celtic on paper are a lot stronger, but Celtic were stronger last year in the Scottish Cup semi-final and they were outplayed by Rangers.

“Rangers are playing a nice brand of football that the fans are enjoying, but Celtic have better players at the moment and nine times out of ten, that will win the day.”

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