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Media City: Tactics working for De Bruyne

KDB: Belgian in action

KDB: Belgian in action

It's the day before derby day, which means the global media machine is being cranked into overdrive to try and cover every angle of this enticing encounter.

Saturday's 12.30pm kick-off at Old Trafford could, indeed, be the most watched Premier League game of all time (more of that later) and has more than enough sub-plots to keep the scribes happy.

Much has been made of the clash of managerial styles between City's Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho - but Blues midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has declared himself perfectly suited to Pep's playbook.

ESPN report: “Kevin De Bruyne is enjoying playing football how 'I always wanted to play' under new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, the midfielder told ESPN in an exclusive interview.

“City have won all three of their Premier League fixtures under Guardiola ahead of facing rivals Manchester United in a top-of-the table derby clash on Saturday.

“And De Bruyne said the new tactics the Catalan coach has brought to the Etihad have been right in line with his own philosophy.

"’I'm really enjoying it,’ the 25-year-old told ESPN. ‘We have almost the same mindset to play with a lot of possession, to play technically, and then the other way defensively, to put a lot of pressure forward and not come back that easy.

"’So yeah, it's the way that I always wanted to play, but obviously it's not easy because other managers play a different system, and for me it's more of an advantage.’"

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Sticking to the tactics theme and Alan Shearer has had his say on the BBC.

Not averse to the odd header himself in his day, Shearer believes how City deal with United's aerial threat could be key to the game.

He reckons: “The height and power of United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will make Saturday a big test for City's entire defence, not just their keeper.

“As I said in my analysis on The Premier League Show on Thursday, United under Mourinho get the ball into the box far earlier and far more often than they were doing last season.

“This season they have already made 53 crosses from open play, compared to 29 in the final three games of last season.”

Just who might be in goal for City is still a moot point, with new number one Claudio Bravo vying for selection alongside Willy Caballero.

Richard Tanner reports in the Daily Express: "Pep Guardiola is ready to gamble on Manchester City’s new goalkeeper at Old Trafford despite the Chile international having had only two training sessions with his new team-mates since his £13.75m move from Barcelona.

"Bravo has played three games for Barcelona this season but was not considered for City’s Premier League game against West Ham before the international break and then not selected by his country for their World Cup against Bolivia and Paraguay because of personal reasons.

"Willy Cabellero has started City’s three League games so far but Guardiola is understood to want 33-year-old Bravo to show why he considers him better than the man he has replaced – England No 1 Joe Hart – and believes he can handle the pressure of the derby."

We shall see!

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Back over to ESPN now and columnist Gabriele Marcotti, who has done his Mancunian history to produce this piece on why Manchester will become the capital of world football.

His article reads: "They make things here. Things you can touch and feel and things that exist only in your mind and sometimes in your soul.

"This is where the Industrial Revolution took off and where non-religious vegetarianism was conceived.

"This is where John Dalton helped define atomic theory and where Oasis helped define '90s rock.

"This is where they built and operated the world's first passenger railroad and where, after an IRA bomb flattened the city center 20 years ago, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and rebuilt the heart of a metropolis from scratch.

"This is Manchester."

Finally the Daily Telegraph report that the game could break audience records.

Ben Rumsby writes: "It is already the biggest game of the new season but Saturday’s Manchester derby is also on course to become the most watched live match in top-flight history.

"Everything points to the first Premier League showdown between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola being a record-breaker for global ratings.

"The 12.30pm kick-off – the earliest the derby has started for more than 13 years – is poised to capture the largest possible worldwide audience for the game between United and City at Old Trafford, which is being televised from New Zealand to the United States and almost everywhere in between."

Bring it on!

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