Men's Team

Gundogan expecting toughest Manchester derby for years

Ilkay Gundogan says confidence is still high in the City camp ahead of Saturday’s exciting clash with United – but he believes it will be the sternest Manchester derby for years.

Gundogan skippered the side that went down 2-0 to Southampton in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.

But the captain has backed the team to show a ‘different phase’ this weekend as we travel to Old Trafford for the 12:30 (UK time) kick-off.

We did the double in 2021/22, winning 2-0 away and 4-1 at home in the Premier League while in the first derby this season, we defeated United 6-3, following hat-tricks for Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.

Pep Guardiola has masterminded seven top-flight victories over our neighbours since taking charge at the start of 2016/17, with just four defeats and two draws.

Gundogan is under no illusion that we are set to face a flourishing United side under Erik ten Hag but he’s excited by the challenge.


He said: “I know what we are able to do on the pitch – we all know. It’s just about having the right attitude, being ready to take on every challenge.

“Right now, I’m confident, even though I’m still frustrated, sad and disappointed from [the Southampton] game.

“I’m confident we are going to show a different phase on Saturday in the derby.”

Our opponents on Saturday, United, are fourth in the Premier League table.

They've won their last four top-flight games, since their 3-1 away defeat to Aston Villa - and they have also racked up eight victories in succession across all competitions.

Gundogan is aware of their threat and knows that the performance levels must be higher than they were at St Mary's Stadium on Wednesday.

He added: “It’s completely different [to the game in September].

“Manchester United are in a very good moment right now, full of confidence, they’re hungry, they want to win.

Premier League
1 Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal 18 15 2 1 42 14 28 47 WWWDW
2 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 19 13 3 3 50 20 30 42 WDWLW
3 Manchester United FC Manchester United Man United 19 12 3 4 30 22 8 39 WWWWD
Last updated: 20 January 2023

“They recruited some really good players in the summer and sometimes it takes time. It looks like it’s starting to click between them so it’s going to be a very tough game – probably the toughest game in the Manchester derby for us in recent years.

“Going to Old Trafford is always special, it’s going to be really hard, and we need a much better performance than [Southampton].”