'They have to show City who are top dogs' - Roy Keane's rallying cry to Man United ahead of derby day
Roy Keane believes the absence of Paul Pogba in the Manchester United team for Sunday’s crunch Premier League game against local rivals Manchester City could be a big factor in the outcome of the game.
Keane is expecting United manager Jose Mourinho to play counter-attacking football against City at Old Trafford, but the club’s former captain is concerned by the suspension of key midfielder Pogba after he was sent off at Arsenal last Saturday.
“It’s a huge game, I’m looking forward to it. I think United will sit in and look to get at them on the counter-attack, but Pogba is a big loss,” Keane told ITV Sport.
“It’s tough in Manchester at the moment with what City are doing. They have raised the bar and United have got them at the weekend. They probably have show City who are top dogs because they have great options going forward, great pace in the team.
“No doubt in my mind that they are in there with a chance. They will be a threat in every competition, of course they are.”
Keane went on to insist Manchester City’s first defeat of the season against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday night will not disrupt the momentum Guardiola’s side have built up in a stunning 13-game winning run in the Premier League.
“I don’t think City’s defeat affects the United game because there was no intensity,” he added, commenting on a game City did not need to win in Ukraine as they had already qualified for the knock-out stages as group winners.
“It’s human nature that players are going to slacken off. There were loads of changes, it was a weakened team and it was no surprise to me that they got beat.”
City manager Guardiola was equally dismissive of his side's defeat against Shakhtar, as he suggested the senstation of losing may, in fact, be beneficial to his team.
“When I felt we needed to lose, it was for the players and for the club because in the media people say things when you win and you can forget things,” said the City boss.
“We came here when our job was done in the Champions League. Now we are going to see how we react on Sunday. But I saw how we reacted after we went 2-0 down here and we passed it well.
“The world will not finish on Sunday no matter happens and now we will prepare for that game.”