Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants to see how Erling Haaland will perform against ‘fantastic’ Lisandro Martinez on Sunday.
Man City will host Manchester United at Etihad this weekend in what will be the first Manchester derby in the Premier League this season.
It may be a Manchester derby, but fans are expecting United’s resilience backline would perform against City’s goal scoring attackers.
Haaland has scored 11 goals in seven league matches this season so far but he’s coming up against a centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez that has kept two clean sheets and conceded only two goals in their last four league matches.
A lot was said of Martinez’s height upon his summer signing from Ajax, with a couple of football pundits claiming that the Argentina international would struggle at centre-back due to his 1.75m height.
The last time Lisandro Martinez locked horns with Erling Haaland, the Argetine walked away with a comfortable 4-0 win over Dortmund.
Pep Guardiola doesn’t think Martinez’s height is a disadvantage but is eager to see how he’d perform against Haaland, who’s taller than than the United defender.
“I like when people underestimate players for size,” Guardiola said. “He can tell them, ‘I’m here and a good player’. He’s [Lisandro Martinez] a fantastic player, aggressive, good build-up. Manchester United paid this money, Erik [ten Hag] knows him…
“It’s not the first time he’s played against taller strikers, he handles it. Important is to be intelligent, brave. The crosses, Erling [Haaland] is taller, we see what happens…”
Manchester City occupy the 2nd position in the Premier League with 17 points from seven matches while United can boast of 12 points from six games.
Both Manchester clubs last met at Etihad last season, Pep Guardiola’s side trounced Ralf Rangnick’s United 4-0.
A lot has changed at Manchester United since the appointment of Erik ten Hag as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement.