The Manchester Derby is upon us. It's a game that could have significant ramifications for the title race and already the back-and-forth has commenced as Man City boss Pep Guardiola was not impressed at a suggestion his team tactically foul.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the Premier League match, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested Manchester City will be ‘snapping at heels and ankles’ to stop counter-attacks and claimed they do so with 'aggression.'
Guardiola disputed the remark when it was put to him.
Did he say that? So we are going to make fouls to them? I don’t like it. No. My team is not built for that, not at all. I never prepare a game in 10 seasons as a manager thinking about these kind of things. Never.
“The players can talk about it better than me about that - the players I had at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here. Never have I said (to) one player to make fouls to avoid something.
In football sometimes you do that because in football the action is quick, fast. But I’m concerned about many, many other things about the game to have to play to beat them than these kinds of things.
Guardiola also claimed the comments could influence referee, Andre Marriner.
With City looking to defend their title and United in search of Champions League football, the dispute is just an added layer of intrigue for what is already an eagerly-anticipated tie. Kick-off is at 8.00pm.