In 11 days time, Pep Guardiola will face the biggest test so far of his credentials as Manchester City manager when he takes his side to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby.
Facing off against his former La Liga rival Jose Mourinho, the clash against Manchester United will pit the two current favourites for the Premier League title against each other in the biggest game of the season so far.
Considering the magnitude of the game, and Guardiola's notorious attention to detail, you'd think the former Barcelona manager would have been planning for the September 10 game for weeks, if not months. However, that doesn't appear to be the case after the Spaniard's surprising admission this week.
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Speaking to reporters, via ESPN, Guardiola has admitted that he hasn't actually watched Manchester United at all so far this season.
"Still I didn't see Manchester United playing, so now I have 10 days to see United, Borussia Monchehgladbach and other teams," the new City boss revealed.
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"We have to make an amazing performance to win at Old Trafford. I can imagine the atmosphere. I am looking forward to living that experience."
Out of sight
Given the way Mourinho has started at United - moulding the club into title challengers after just a few weeks - you would have thought Guardiola would be keen to keep tabs on his rivals, either by watching their fixtures live or following up with game tape of their three straight wins.
As it turns out, however, the Spaniard has been keeping his focus entirely on City's recent opponents. With five wins from five in all competitions, it is clearly a tactic that has paid off.
But, with no disrespect to any of Steaua Bucaresti, Sunderland, Stoke City or West Ham, Manchester United will require much more preparation if Guardiola is to make it four wins from four in the league.
The international break does give the City manager time to sit down and analyse what Mourinho, Zlatan and co. have achieved so far, yet he could have given himself a head start had he allocated some time in the opening month of the season to watch the red half of Manchester.
While some City fans may be worried that Guardiola hasn't left time to plan for the likes of Pogba and Ibrahimovic., the ex-Bayern Munich boss would actually have preferred the crunch fixture to have taken place this week.
"If we should play [United] in three or four days, OK, we go there. But now we [City's players] go to the national team. We never know what is going on," he explained.
If he'd watched any of United's fixtures so far this season, he might not be quite so confident.
Who will come out on top in the Manchester derby? Make your predictions in the comments section below...
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