Kevin De Bruyne disappointed by Paul Pogba's absence from Manchester derby

Kevin De Bruyne disappointed by Paul Pogba's absence from Manchester derby

Leaders City will equal the all-time English top-flight record of 14 consecutive victories with a win at Old Trafford and extend their lead over second-placed United to 11 points.

City go into Sunday's derby with an extensive lead over United thanks to David Silva's 83rd-minute victor in the 2-1 victory over West Ham United.

Guardiola claimed first blood, leading City to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in September 2016, but both teams fell by the wayside thereafter, finishing the campaign well adrift of Premier League champions Chelsea.

And Zabaleta, who spent nine successful years at City before leaving in the summer to join the Hammers, says he wants his former side to go on and lift the title.

Pogba had said in a recent interview of City: "Some day I hope they are going to slip and I hope, and I know that it's bad to say things like that, but I hope for us that some very important players get injured".

A derby is always special.

Stu Forster  GettyImages
Stu Forster GettyImages

City had already qualified from Champions League Group F as winners long before this game and the only impact the loss should have is on a few of the players' pride - and even that may not be much of an issue going forward given most of the starting XI will not play on Sunday. "But the teams have been playing closed, we have had difficulty finding the spaces there, because there are a lot of people in front of the box".

Gabriel Jesus also spoke on a next weekend's derby match against United, which he expects to be different: "It will be a good game, a great game, great players, great players".

Silva joined City from Valencia in 2010, just days after becoming a World Cup victor with Spain after they beat Holland 1-0 in the final in South Africa.

City will train again back in Manchester on Friday afternoon and by kick-off on Sunday the vast majority of their strongest XI will have benefited from a midweek rest.

"They are doing great and have a great team".

The Hammers are still awaiting their first win under new manager David Moyes.

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