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Pep Guardiola has identified Man Utd’s ‘exceptional player’ ahead of the derby

Pep Guardiola has identified Man Utd’s ‘exceptional player’ ahead of the derby

Manchester City will be hoping to close the gap at the top of the Premier League with a win over Manchester United.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has singled out an "exceptional player" ahead of their Premier League clash against Manchester United.

The Citizens will be looking to extend their 18-game unbeaten run on Sunday afternoon with a win over their local rivals.

Given they are 15 points ahead of Erik ten Hag's side in the league table, the Blues go into this weekend's clash as overwhelming favourites.

But Guardiola has warned against complacency as United look to bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Fulham.

"What I learn from my experience in these types of games is to be more calm, relax, don't talk about many things," the Spaniard said.

"Just focus on tactics and what you have to do to beat them, not about emotions - because emotions will be there, without doubt."

As well as touching on the emotional aspect of the derby, Guardiola heaped praise on Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

"He is an exceptional player," Guardiola said. "Especially the consistency to play in every single game and in every single competition.

"I admire him a lot for that. He is a guy that when he has the ball, something is going to happen. In set pieces, in connections with players up front with [Alejandro] Garnacho, with Rashford, all the strikers they have up there.

"What can I say, he is a really, really important player."

When asked if his side will try and keep Fernandes quiet during the derby, he said: "Of course, it always has to be like that. Always he can be creating something."

Guardiola was also asked whether Fernandes and Luke Shaw would be the only United players he'd have in his current City squad.

“That is football fantasy," he said. "I don’t like it.”

Fernandes' form continues to be a talking point amongst fans. Ten Hag, meanwhile, believes the Portuguese midfielder is an inspiration to his teammates.

When asked about the body language of his players and whether it concerns him, the Dutchman said: "What you see is the character of a player.

“Often you see that’s expressed in his body language. that’s not a thing you can change in a short time.

“I think Bruno [Fernandes] is a good example. He wants to win. And he shows his emotion. And that is an absolute strength of him, to push his own team, so others around him, they pick it up and want to fight with him.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images - YouTube/BeanymanSports

Topics: Manchester City, Manchester United, Pep Guardiola, Premier League, Bruno Fernandes, Derby, Football