Men's Team

Goater: Why Sunday's derby matters even more

Shaun Goater believes a City victory in Sunday’s Manchester derby could prove a key staging post for Pep Guardiola’s side as the battle for the Premier League title hots up.

As well as the all-important matter of the Manchester bragging rights, our latest clash with United also carries huge importance in terms of the race for the title.

Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions currently hold a six-point advantage on Liverpool – though we have played a game more.

With the Anfield side having won their last 11 games in all competitions, there is precious little margin for error.

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But Goater believes that should only serve to provide City with even greater incentive for a fixture that already means so much.

“I think a win on Sunday could be ever so important,” said the former City strike ace and now a regular special guest on our Matchday Live show.

“Derby games are always important in giving you confidence too if we were to win that game.

“On the other side, you’ve got Liverpool hoping United will do them a favour but again it will give City the confidence to go on and do well.”

“(For me) I think City just have to play their normal game.

“If City do that, I think (in terms of the) tactics, Pep will look at the game, how we can dominate and create those opportunities.

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“Derbies are such that you’ve got to put them away.

“Once we put those chances away, we can (look to) walk away with the game.”

Looking ahead to Sunday, Goater also pinpointed the areas where City need to take careful heed of United’s ability going forward.

He also outlined the way City could look to seize the upper hand in what will be an eagerly-awaited clash.

And he admitted now watching the occasion unfold as a fan rather than as a player meant that he couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement of one of the great occasions in the Premier League calendar.

“It’s the possession and being aware of the counter-attack - that’s where United will look to capitalise in the game,” Goater pointed out.

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“We’ve got to keep an eye on Ronaldo.

“He doesn’t need three chances… if he gets one he’ll typically put it away but at the same time he won’t want to press the way others will.

“We need to use that to dominate possession, capitalise and create chances.

“I see the derby as a fan. I still have a bit of control because as a player you have that control in not getting too high or low, but I do see it more as a fan.

“Looking at the game and looking for so many things that both teams may do tactically but then I do get a bit caught up as a fan and get right into it!”

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