Gareth Taylor says Manchester City U18s are full of confidence ahead of this weekend’s mini derby against Manchester United.

The table topping Academy outfit have won seven of their opening eight games and boast the U18 Premier League’s most potent attack and its meanest defence.

We face a United side 10-points behind in seventh place and while Taylor expects Saturday’s derby encounter will be one of the toughest games of the season, he has faith his players will deliver a good performance.

“If both teams play to their best, I’m confident we can win the game,” he said ahead of the clash  at the City Football Academy (CFA).

“We’ve had a difficult week, because we’ve only trained twice as we had quite a few players involved in the UEFA Youth League, but we’re in a decent form.

“I’m expecting a tough game. They’ll play with a high tempo and it will be really competitive, which you’d expect in a derby at any age group.”

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The two teams couldn’t be separated last season, drawing 2-2 at the CFA and 3-3 away in two fiercely contested games.

Taylor acknowledges the cross-city rivalry is something you can’t escape and whilst he understand it adds an extra dimension to the match, he says it is his job to help his youngsters approach the game like any other.

“There is no getting away from a derby and players' attitudes might slightly change in that respect,” he added.

“But we’ll treat it like we would any other game.

“We want to maintain normal things and look to produce the same processes as in each and every game.

“There’ll be some slight differences in the tactical organisation but it’s just a case of preaching to the players, stick with the processes and try and create something positive.

"We’re just focused on performance and then the result will take care of itself."

City U18s face Manchester United at 11am on Saturday 9 November at the City Football Academy. We'll have live updates on Twitter: @ManCityAcademy.