Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that Old Trafford no longer carries the fear factor that it once did. The Manchester City boss believes a once-daunting venue has lost its fear factor in recent seasons. City visit Manchester United on Wednesday in a massive derby for both sides. Guardiola’s side are hoping to leapfrog Liverpool and get back into first place in the Premier League, while United are three points back of the fourth and final Champions League position.
Man Utd have been a dominant force in the Premier League over the years but their city rivals are beginning to turn the tables, having won the league twice since United’s last title in 2012-13. Old Trafford was a house of horrors for City in the past, with the team failing to win there between 1974 and 2008. But City have now won five of their last seven visits to Old Trafford in the Premier League, and Guardiola confessed that his team no longer view the stadium the way they once did.
When quizzed on City’s strong recent form at Old Trafford, Guardiola said: “I don’t make theories about what happened in the past for what is going to happen in the future. Every game is completely different. “The reason why is the fact this club in the last decade grew a lot and it’s not scary to go there.
“Before it was maybe more difficult. But the players Manchester City have had in the last decade have made this game a little bit more equal. “The only question is the Premier League, winning the title. In the three seasons since I’m here, we did better than them, but here it’s about winning the title, not beating United.”
Though United have lost six of eight matches, including Sunday’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at Everton, Guardiola is expecting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to bring their best in a heated derby match.
“I expect the best United, I’m sure,” he said. “Football players try to do their best, and that’s going to happen. We prepare for their strong points and weak points. “It’s 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 and the club.
“I know in the beginning how strong United will be in terms of their intensity, and we’ll have to handle it. We did it in the past. We’ll try to do it again. “United lost the last game 4-0 and I know what our reaction would be [to such a result]. That’s what’s going to happen tomorrow. We have to accept it – that’s the challenge.”