Men's Team

Dickov: City will embrace derby challenge

Paul Dickov believes Sunday’s 188th Manchester derby with United will provide a big test for City – but says Pep Guardiola’s side should go into the Etihad showpiece full of confidence.

City signed off prior to the September international break with a superb 3-0 win at Wolves and will step out on Sunday afternoon lying second in the Premier League table just a point behind Arsenal.

United meanwhile, under the leadership of new manager Erik ten Hag, have bounced back after enduring a tough start to rise up to fifth place in the table and have a game in hand

It means all the ingredients are in place for an intriguing and eagerly awaited Etihad match-up with the Manchester bragging rights up for grabs.

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However, former City and Scotland striker Dickov is adamant that City will embrace the challenge of taking on ten Hag’s visitors – and rise to the occasion befitting of the Manchester derby.

“It will be a test for City as it’s a derby but it’s a big test for United as well as much as it is for us in how they go ahead and play,” Dickov declared.

“I think tactically they may have to sit in deep and try and hit us on the counter which we have seen from them before.

“If they come here and try and have a go at us, they could be in big trouble.

“I think Erik ten Hag is a very good manager but he’s still going to need time.

“So I think they will be coming here hoping to pinch a draw and if they can come away from the Etihad with a draw, I do think they would be delighted with that.

“I just look at City’s performances already this season and the players who could be back such as Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker.

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"Having recovered from injury just before the break that will be huge for us.

“I look at how City set up in the middle of the park and look at United there and I also think we can maybe outnumber them in that area.

“That could then cause United big problems as it leaves spaces everywhere.

"I'm really looking forward to the game."

You can cheer on City in another Etihad Stadium Manchester derby later this season when we host United in the Barclays Women’s Super League.

The fixture, which is set to be played over the weekend of 10/11 December, will be the third time our women’s first team have played at the Etihad.

City hosted Everton there back in May 2014, before welcoming our local rivals in September 2019, when Caroline Weir’s wonder strike saw us run out 1-0 winners in front of what was then a WSL record crowd, and remains a club record of over 30,000 fans.

With over 20,000 tickets already sold, it promises to be another historic occasion.

You can secure your tickets online by visiting: www.mancity.com/tickets/womens or by calling: +44 (0)161 444 1894.

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