Manchester United host Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday in one of the most crucial games of the 2017-18 Premier League season so far.
The Citizens currently hold an eight point lead over us at the top of the table in a game we cannot afford to lose, and one we ideally need to win.
Both teams are in Champions League action this week – our 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow came 24 hours before Manchester City are in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk this evening.
One City player who has not travelled out to Eastern Europe is playmaker David Silva. The Spaniard reported that he “felt uncomfortable” after their late 2-1 win over West Ham United this past weekend.
Pep Guardiola has decided to leave the player at home midweek to recover and then claimed he wasn’t sure whether Silva would be ready to face Manchester United this weekend, saying:
“David had a little bit of problems in the last minutes.
“We made a test after the game and I don’t know if he is able to play on Sunday, so that’s why he stayed there, to recover in Manchester.”
Speaking after our 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday evening, Jose laughed off suggestions that David Silva will miss the derby.
“Do you want the truth or what do you want? You want the truth.
“The truth is Eric Bailly, no chance for the weekend. Phil Jones a chance.
“(Marouane) Fellaini a chance, Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) a big chance and (Nemanja) Matic is injured but will play for sure.
“I’m telling the truth. He’s injured but he will play for sure. (Michael) Carrick no chance.
“It’s the truth, eh? No stories of (Alexandre) Lacazette, David Silva. All the truth.”
In the final sentence Jose was referring to Arsene Wenger claiming last Tuesday that Alexandre Lacazette was definitely ruled out of their game against us on Saturday, only for the striker to start.
Guardiola’s comments do indeed sound like mind games from the former Barcelona man but mind games that the United boss clearly isn’t falling for.