Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City must be wary of another counterattacking trap and a Champions League backlash from Manchester United in Saturday’s derby at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side beat their local rivals three times last season, albeit with City winning their Carabao Cup semi-final on aggregate, and De Bruyne is prepared for United to sit back once again, despite their wealth of forward options.
The City playmaker said: “They have some new players and maybe they will play a bit more offensively but we will see. After five minutes you are going to know what is happening in the game. They played defensively and on the counter last season and picked us off really well. I remember the home game when we lost 1-2 but we made a couple of mistakes and it was difficult to come back. They won three out of four last year so we need to try and make that right.”
De Bruyne also expects United’s exit from the Champions League on Tuesday to prompt a reaction from Solskjær’s side.
“I don’t think the game is more important for them,” he said. “But we need to be careful because everything that has happened this week, it is a good game for them to change the switch. They will want to show a different side to what happened in Leipzig and we need to be aware of that.”
Pep Guardiola has paid the Belgium international the compliment of saying he would be in the best XI of players he has coached, including at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The City manager, who insisted Sergio Agüero was not fit to start, said: “He would be in there, yes. I was a lucky person. In Barcelona, in Munich and here I train incredible players but if you ask me which is the best keeper I could not answer. It would be disrespectful to another goalkeeper if I choose Víctor Valdés, [Manuel] Neuer or Edi [Ederson] now – all three are incredible. But Kevin, of course. It’s not necessary to be a brilliant guy and a smart guy and a wise guy to know that Kevin would be there.”