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Thursday 7th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Simon Williams reports from Old Trafford

The war of words has begun ahead of Sunday’s top of the table clash between Manchester United and Manchester City.

United manager Jose Mourinho questioned Pep Guardiola’s claims that City’s influential Spanish midfielder David Silva is a doubt for the derby at Old Trafford.

Prior to last weekends game between Arsenal and United, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had claimed that Alexandre Lacazette would be missing due to a groin injury.

However the French striker played 90 minutes and scored his side’s only goal in their 3-1 defeat to the Red Devils.

And Mourinho certainly isn’t convinced by stories coming from the blue half of Manchester about Silva.

He said: “You want the truth? What do you want? You want the truth. The truth is Eric Bailly no chance for the weekend, Phil Jones a chance, (Marouane) Fellaini a chance, Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) a big chance.

“(Nemanja) Matic is injured but will play for sure. I’m telling the truth, he is injured but he will play for sure. (Michael) Carrick, no chance.

“It’s the truth. No stories of Lacazette or David Silva.”

United equalled a 51-year-old club record with a 40th successive game unbeaten at home following a 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night to see them qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League as winners of Group A.

And that record could be broken if Mourinho’s side halt City’s attempt to record a 14th straight Premier League win at the weekend.

But the Portuguese claimed he wasn’t interested in records. He said: “I’m not proud because we’ve had some bad results at home. We drew matches that are not good results.

“I’m not playing for records. I don’t want to stay in the books of the history of this club because of records. I want to stay there because we won the Europa League and it was the first time (for the club). I want to stay there because there are more important things than records. But it’s nice.”