Manchester City face Manchester United on Sunday

Manchester City face Manchester United on Sunday

Guardiolas success at Manchester City came as no surprise to Dani Alves

Pep Guardiola’s “magical touch” with players and methodical preparations meant his success at Manchester City came as no surprise to former Barcelona defender Dani Alves.

The Premier League champions raised the bar last season, amassing a record points tally of 100, which was 19 clear of nearest rivals Manchester United, scoring more than a century of goals along the way.

City host United on Sunday looking to lay down another marker, having followed up the trashing of Southampton by taking a step towards the last 16 of the Champions League with 6-0 victory over ShakhtarDonetsk on Wednesday night.

MANCHESTER CITY are a long way ahead of rivals Manchester United – but their lack of young talent could see the power shift swap in the near future.

That’s according to Paul Merson, who has criticised Pep Guardiola for failing to promote youngsters.

City and United face off at the Etihad this weekend in a blockbuster Premier League derby and Merson is expecting a dominant home win.

He reckons the talent within Guardiola’s ranks far exceeds whatever United have and City will hold the bragging rights for many years to come yet.

He told Sky Sports: “Lets be honest, City have got a much better team that United at the moment. United are a long, long, long away from City. 

“Its hard to say how long its going to take to switch the power back – years and years probably. They are so far behind that even money will not solve the problem.

“If Pep stays at City long-term, which is not a given as things can change quickly in football, then the power is with City. 

“My slight worry with City is that there are no youngsters coming through. Phil Foden does not get a game, Jadon Sancho left – and City are not the youngest team in the world.

“If Pep had brought three or four kids through, then you would be thinking wow but they have got the ammunition to buy the ready-made player.”

While City have bossed the Premier League so far this season, United will head into Sunday’s derby in confident mood following last night’s win at Juventus.

Jose Mourinho lauded his players after securing a stunning comeback victory in Turin on the eve of their trip across Manchester.

“Probably when Manchester United had heroics here (in 2003), Manchester United was the best team,” Mourinho said.

“And they (Juventus) are a top team for many years now. They bought that player (Ronaldo), they want to win everything, they can win everything and we are a team where many of the players didnt play big matches like this in the Champions League.

“So, it is a different situation but it is a fantastic victory for us – a victory that is not just about the points we lost at home, it is about the feeling of how well we played.

“And I think even if this game doesnt end with a victory, I would have the same feeling that the team played really, really well from the first minute – I repeat – against a super team.”

Mourinho certainly lapped up the moment at the Allianz Stadium, taking to the pitch at full-time and cupping his ear to the home fans in response to his hostile reception.

“Well, do you remember what they did to me? Well, the sign I made is actually not an offence,” Mourinho added.

“This is something more… I just wanted to hear them making comments again or not. Yes, before I said I would not do it but then I did (react).”

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