Pellegrini Outlines His Hopes for Manchester City in Sunday's Derby vs. United
Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that David Silva and Micah Richards are back in training ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby against United.
Whether Silva and Richards are fit enough to start the match remains unclear, but both are back in contention for a place in the squad. Gael Clichy returned to training Friday morning and remains a doubt for the weekend.
Pellegrini told Bleacher Report:
“Of the players who have been injured, Micah Richards is working normally with the whole squad. David Silva the same. Gael Clichy started working today, and he may not be ready for Sunday. Apart from that, all the other players except Martin Demichelis are fine.”
The Chilean also said captain Vincent Kompany had come through Tuesday’s Champions League match with Plzen unscathed, with the Belgian now a certain starter against United.
“Kompany has worked normally all week, played 90 minutes in the Champions League and he has no problems. Vincent is a very important player. He gives the team confidence,” Pellegrini said.
Sunday will be Pellegrini’s first derby in charge of City, but he says he is fully aware of the importance of the game. He also said he feels a win is vital in what he describes as a “match of six points.”
“Every game against Manchester United is important. I do not need to be here to know how important the derby is against Manchester United. Living here and working every day here you know it is a special game.
“It's a match of six points. It is very important to win it. Man United are a team always looking to win the title and Champions League. Playing at home against Manchester United, it is more important to win than not to lose. Of course, if you can't win, then it's better not to lose. We will try to win.”
It’s not just Pellegrini’s first involvement in a Manchester derby. His United counterpart, David Moyes, is also making his debut in the fixture, and Pellegrini feels that although pressure of replacing Alex Ferguson is big, Moyes can use it as a positive.
“It's impossible not to be under a lot of pressure replacing Sir Alex Ferguson," Pellegrini said.
"Managing a big team like Manchester United, you are always under pressure. That's not a bad thing. It is maybe a good thing, because you know what you have to do.”
With Wayne Rooney back in form for United, Pellegrini feels he is a threat but said United were a side full of quality.
“United have a lot of good players. Wayne Rooney is one of them, but not only him. They also have Robin van Persie, Antonio Valencia, so they have many good players."
With Moyes’ impressive record against City as Everton manager, where he won nine of the last 12 meetings between the two sides, is Pellegrini concerned he has figured City out?
"I know he has had good results against Manchester City when he managed Everton," Pellegrini said.
"But I also had a good record against Everton when I was manager of Villarreal."
Manchester City play Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium Sunday at 4 p.m. BST.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity.
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