Mourinho, Guardiola face League Cup reunion
JOSE MOURINHO and Pep Guardiola face off for the second time this season when Manchester United entertain holders Manchester City in the English League Cup fourth round tomorrow.
Guardiola’s City took the spoils when he and Mourinho resumed hostilities in September, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford through goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho.
But City have gone off the boil since, Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton leaving them without a win in five games, while United crashed to a crushing 4-0 defeat at Mourinho’s former club Chelsea.
Asked whether the identity of his side’s League Cup opponents would help motivate his hurting players, Mourinho told MUTV: “I would prefer to play in the Premier League.
“It’s a bad feeling in the Premier League. With the combination of results, the gap to the top is six points. We’ve had a very difficult period of matches.
“We are really, really sad, but again this is not for kids. This is for men and tomorrow (Monday) we have to be men and work for the next one.”
City’s win at United on Sept 10 formed part of a sequence of six consecutive victories, which suggested Guardiola might find life in England something of a stroll.
But since drawing 3-3 in a frenetic Champions League game at Celtic, the early-season certainty has vanished.
“It’s important to change our dynamic from the previous games,” Guardiola said.
“Everything influences you. If you can play well or badly, it affects your mentality, so we are working on it.
“We will see tomorrow, after the players’ recovery, then decide if it’s necessary to make rotations or not.”
The round’s other stand-out tie occurs today when Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur face off at Anfield while the spotlight will fall on and off the pitch at London Stadium, where West Ham United host cross-town rivals Chelsea.
The remaining all-top-flight tie sees Southampton host the Premier League’s bottom club Sunderland. – AFP