Erling Haaland goads Man Utd defenders as he makes big prediction about Manchester derby

Erling Haaland, Man City striker, applaudes the fans after Champions League - Group G - Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund - Etihad Stadium

Erling Haaland insists he is confident of enjoying a “fun afternoon” as he prepares to take part in his first Manchester derby against Manchester United at the Etihad on Sunday.

The Norway striker has made a blistering start to life with Pep Guardiola’s side, blasting in 14 goals in nine games already. Indeed, the 22-year-old has only failed to find the net on one occasion in a City shirt so far; that being the 4-0 win over Bournemouth. As such, he looks well on course to win the Premier League Golden Boot with few sides seemingly able to deal with him.

And Haaland will get the chance to add to that tally on Sunday when Manchester United make the short trip to the Etihad. It will be the striker’s first taste of the Manchester derby – and he seemingly cannot wait.

The City star has been warned he will face a far harder test with summer signing Lisandro Martinez in fine form for United. However, Haaland insists there is not a defender in the world he is scared to face – and is confident of giving the Red Devils a torrid time.

“I can’t wait to play my first derby with Manchester City, it will be fun. I can’t wait for them to arrive at our stadium. And I hope everyone in the club are ready for the match and attacking at the same time,” Haaland said.

“I hope we can play our best football. If so, I think it could be a good evening. I’m ready for the derby, I know how it is. There is no defender I don’t want to face.”

That is also a view shared by Jamie Carragher with the pundit also giving his thoughts on the Martinez v Haaland battle.

Erling Haaland shares favourite Manchester derby memory

Haaland’s father, Alfie, played in 10 Manchester derbies while at City between 1994 and 2001. However, the obiding memory is of a seething Roy Keane standing over him having chopped him down with an ugly challenge.

Fortunately for Haaland, he was less than a year old at the time of that ugly incident. However, he does have a more recent memory to look back on when recalling his favourite Manchester derby moment to date.

“I remember when Mario Balotelli at Old Trafford celebrated with ‘Why Always Me?’. I remember that particularly well. Now for new memories!”

City have managed to finish above Manchester United in each one of Guardiola’s six seasons in charge at City.

However, his record in derbies is far more even, with Guardiola recording eights wins, six defeats and two draws from 16 encounters.

Pep Guardiola fires warning to City players about Man Utd

And with United starting to gather form under Erik ten Hag, Guardiola is expecting a difficult afternoon at the Etihad.

He said: “Always, from our opponents, I expect the best – the quality they have, there is no doubts about that.

“They come with very good results against tough sides – winning at Southampton is not easy, but especially Liverpool and Arsenal at home. (There is) good momentum for them.

“We have to do a perfect game. They punish you for nothing. They have quality in short spaces, up front they have mobility and speed, with physicality and quality in the middle, central defenders so aggressive, and good pace outside.

“It’s Manchester United. They’ve always been like that. At Old Trafford we have been better than at the Etihad in the last years but, at the same time, I’m looking forward to it and we are prepared to face them.”

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