Men's Team

Haaland: First Manchester derby a special moment

Erling Haaland says he can’t wait for the opportunity to represent City in a Manchester derby.

Pep Guardiola’s men welcome Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with kick-off scheduled for 14:00 (UK).

The prospect of playing in a match he has watched as a supporter on numerous occasions is something the Norwegian is relishing ahead of the weekend.

Indeed, the fixture’s significance isn’t lost on Haaland, with the striker desperate to give the home fans something to shout about against our cross-city rivals.

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“It means so much to all of the supporters and as a fan I know that,” he explained.

“We want to make them proud on Sunday. We know it is going to be a tough game, but I am excited to play in this derby.

“It is another game, but I also know that derby games are so much more intense.

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“These games mean everything to the fans. It is the first time I have played in the Manchester derby after watching so many on TV with my father and I cannot wait.

“It will be a special moment for me.

“I haven’t spoken to my father [former City midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland] about this game, but I know he will be in the stands watching.”

This weekend sees two of the Premier League’s most in-form teams face one another.

City remain unbeaten so far this season, but United come into the 188th Manchester derby on the back of four successive Premier League victories.

It promises to be a thrilling encounter, and Haaland is under no illusions that we will need to be at our best once again to maintain the bragging rights over our rivals.

He said: “We know it is going to be a tough game. Anything is possible in a derby and we are all going to have to be at our best to get anything from this game.

“What I have always known and am now experiencing is that in the Premier League every game is tough.

“You have to be at your best and if you aren’t then you will be punished.”

“Of course, it would be special to score against United, but it would also be special to score against Copenhagen on Wednesday and Southampton next weekend.

“My focus is on every game because if I am scoring goals and playing well it means it is going to help the team achieve our aims this season.”

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