Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says there is no fear factor playing at Old Trafford anymore.
The Spaniard takes his City side to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday knowing a win will put them back on top of the Premier League – at least until Friday – when Liverpool host Huddersfield.
Guardiola has ruled midfielder Kevin De Bruyne out of Wednesday’s Manchester derby. The Belgian suffered the latest in a string of injury setbacks this season as he was forced off against Tottenham on Saturday.
“It is a muscular problem,” Guardiola said. “We will see in the next days but tomorrow he is not available.”
Guardiola, who dismissed talk of Riyad Mahrez leaving, though is relishing the prospect of taking on neighbours Manchester United.
“We have to win four games to retain our title,” Guardiola added.
“It is not an easy place to go but it is a nice place to go. We know exactly what we have to do.
“It is a derby and all the times we play against United they are special games and players do their best.”
Asked if he was more worried after United’s 4-0 hammering at Everton on Sunday, he said: “A little bit, yeah but even a good result, the confidence will be higher.
“It is a derby and all the times we play against United, the derbies are always special games and the players do their best for the fans the club. I saw the game, I imagine what will happen against us. The game against Everton is over.
“It’s important that the club is structured well, like here, but I won’t comment on what happens at United. This club in the last decade grew a lot, it’s not scary any more to go to Old Trafford but we have to play at our best.
“I expect the best United tomorrow, I am sure. They are proud. Prepare the game as always, their strong points, their weak points and try to win the game.”
“The question of dominance is about winning Premier league titles. It’s ok but it’s not the most important thing. It’s true that we’ve done better than them over the last three years but it is about winning titles, not beating United.”