Sport

Bailly was set for City before Mou called

Manchester City playmaker David Silva is a major doubt for Thursday's derby against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

The pair were fierce competitors during their time in Spain, but the Red Devils coach claims that focusing on their history is not the "correct approach" to the fixture.

"For a club the size of Manchester United, the Europa League would be a great trophy to win".

United have struggled for fluency this season, drawing no fewer than 12 games, and spent four months grimly locked in sixth place in the table. I always want the players to be happy and to choose their future, and this is what I think is going to happen.

"Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: "[Jose Mourinho and I] are neighbours.

"Third, I should point out that the last of these bets against my own team was six years ago (and in a reserve game), when I was going through a particularly troubled period, and when the FA were not almost as hard on gambling as they are now".

"Bailly and [Daley] Blind who have experience and it's time for Jones and Smalling to be courageous - to [take a] risk - because for the team you have to do everything", the United manager said after his team's Europa League tie against Anderlecht last week.

"I had never been in a situation like this before (I've been very lucky), but the truth is I'm feeling much better now and I hope to be back with the team soon, to try to help in the last spell of the season". The results are a fact but the way we play every game we should talk about.

With United failing to mount a Premier League title challenge this campaign, the Portuguese tactician admits the challenge he faces at Old Trafford is the one of most difficulty of all his managerial jobs - going as far to compare it to his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United take on Manchester City on Thursday night looking to move into the top four - and you can get 16/1 enhanced odds on Manchester United to win.

"Man City contacted my agent, Barcelona as well were talking to my agent, but they weren't as interested in me as Mourinho". If he succeeds in this task on Thursday, he could well set Manchester United on the path to victory, thereby helping them leapfrog City into fourth place.

"We also have the Europa League, which is a competition that makes me very excited. The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football", Barton said via a statement on his official website.

"I think maybe opponents look at us with different eyes because we don't have Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] and Paul [Pogba] and Marcos [Rojo] and [Juan] Mata and [Phil] Jones and [Chris] Smalling, maybe they look at us with different eyes".



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