Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted he is yet to watch Manchester United play this season.
Jose Mourinho and Guardiola have both made perfect starts to their time in Manchester having won their opening three games this season.
The two developed a fierce rivalry during their time as managers of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively and will go head to head for the first time since 2012 on September 10 when the two sides meet at Old Trafford in the eagerly anticipated Manchester derby.
Speaking after his side’s 3-1 win over West Ham United, Guardiola claimed to have not watched any of Man United’s games so far this season.
“Still I didn’t see Manchester United playing,” he said, “so now I have ten days to see United, Borussia Monchehgladbach and other teams.”
“We have to make an amazing performance to win at Old Trafford. I can imagine the atmosphere. I am looking forward to living that experience.
“Hopefully, they [City’s players] come back with no injuries and in a good mood and we can do it.”
One suspects that, whilst Guardiola has been focusing on his first three Premier League opponents, ignoring United in the process, Mourinho has been quietly deciphering the methodology behind Guardiola’s new-look Man City side. This is just how the 53-year-old operates: like a Guerrilla fighter, Mourinho plots every single aspect of his assault over a long period of time, instilling a hard-wired game plan into his side.
Then again, September 10 does not resemble the beginning of a new rivalry; Mourinho and Guardiola know understand each other with meticulous detail, equipped with a clear strategy when it comes to toppling their rival’s notably different style of play.
Make no mistake: this promises to be the biggest Manchester derby in recent history.