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Man City boss Pep Guardiola factoring in ‘Fergie Time’ ahead of Man Utd clash

Liverpool v Manchester City – Premier League – Anfield
(Image credit: Peter Byrne)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is factoring ‘Fergie Time’ into his planning as he prepares for this weekend’s derby at Old Trafford.

City’s arch-rivals United host the champions in the Premier League on Saturday fresh from snatching a stoppage-time equaliser at Atalanta in midweek.

Not for the first time this season, Cristiano Ronaldo was their hero at the death having also grabbed a last-gasp winner against Villarreal in September.

It evoked memories of the never-say-die attitude evident at the club throughout the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Assessing the threat posed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United, Guardiola said: “I’m pretty sure they are going to press man-to-man up front and defend deeper.

“In terms of build-up, I’m sure they’ll try to make a good one – sometimes with two false nines, sometimes more direct. I’m pretty sure they’ll attack the channels and use Bruno Fernandes to ignite something.

“They will try to make the movements in behind in the final third with crosses to Cristiano. They could play (Edinson) Cavani, (Marcus) Rashford or other ones.

“(We have to) be ready in the last minutes of the first half and the second half. I’m pretty sure they will call Sir Alex Ferguson to install the ‘Fergie Time’, because I think it’s going to happen.”

Solskjaer came under heavy pressure after his side were thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool a fortnight ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late equaliser for United in midweek

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late equaliser for United in midweek (Francesco Scaccianoce/PA)

Last week’s victory over Tottenham took some of the heat off the Norwegian but another big loss at the hands of City would put him back under the microscope.

Guardiola, however, has warned that a repeat of the Liverpool result is highly unlikely.

He said: “We have not the quality to play like Liverpool play, so we play a different way. Football is not ‘copy paste’.

“United, after this defeat, changed the set-up against Tottenham and it worked, and they changed the set-up against Atalanta.

Solskjaer remains under pressure at Old Trafford

Solskjaer remains under pressure at Old Trafford (Francesco Scaccianoce/PA)

“If you want to do it like Liverpool, you want Jurgen Klopp, (Sadio) Mane and (Mohamed) Salah to come. We cannot play like Liverpool play because we have different players.

“And maybe right now if United played Liverpool they would play in a different way and it would not be the result they did at Old Trafford because everyone learns from it.

“We are going to try and do our game as a team. We have different qualities in a different way.”

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