Xavi is remaining neutral for the Manchester derby .

Xavi insists he won't be backing Manchester United or City

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As much as we'd like to think of the Manchester derby as the latest instalment in an epic battle between United and City, everyone knows it's really all going to be about Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

The sworn enemies are preparing to face each other in the Premier League for the very first time, so anyone even vaguely interested in the game is going to have to pick a side.

Although, actually, that isn't entirely true. Barcelona legend Xavi has insisted that he doesn't have a preference for who walks away from Saturday's derby with bragging rights, despite having won so many trophies under Guardiola at the Nou Camp.


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If anything, the former midfield master should have even more of a vested interest than most, as it was Mourinho who led rivals Real Madrid during some of the fiercest El Classicos in living memory.

Ever the cool customer, though, the 36-year-old, who now plays in Qatar with Al Sadd, told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser:

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"I just support the football. I want the best to win. I have an affection for Pep and other people at Manchester City.

"But United also have [Juan] Mata, [David] De Gea... I will enjoy the game."

Manic Manchester 

If only we could all be as mellow as Xavi. In fact, Greater Manchester Police are so concerned about the potential craziness of the game that they are reportedly briefing officers on the rivalry between Mourinho and Guardiola.

Barcelona's coach Josep Guardiola (R) sh

Even as Manchester derbies go, this is going to be intense. The Premier League's two biggest spenders - and two of the biggest favourites for the title - are going head to head, and while it's still so early on in the season, you get the feeling this is a game which is going to have a pretty big impact further down the line.

It's Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan vs. Paul Pogba. And there might just be one or two goings on in the dugout worth keeping an eye on.

Guardiola might be disappointed to learn that one of his former players won't really be rooting for him, but the incentive of getting one over on Mourinho should be more than enough.

Who's the better manager - Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho? And why? Have your say in the comments. 

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Manchester United
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