Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho is a huge early psychological battle, say Sunday Supplement panel


Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will be looking to inflict an early psychological blow on the race for the Premier League title when Manchester City face Manchester United next weekend.

The pair have enjoyed a fierce rivalry for years, and Patrick Barclay believes a win for Guardiola this early in the season without star man Sergio Aguero would be a big psychological advantage for City. 

"It would be a massive," he said. "Up in Manchester, there's the feeling that this is where the title is going to be won. That's not my personal view, I think Chelsea have as much chance as either, but that's the way it will feel.

"To win on United's ground would be a huge blow [for Mourinho]. You really can't understate the rivalry between these two.
"I use the word rivalry advisedly, because I think there's respect. I think intense rivalry, almost like a sibling rivalry, because they've known each other since the mid-1990s, for 20 years, but it's almost like a sibling rivalry which can be more intense.
"I can absolutely promise you that nothing will have made Guardiola's heart sink - since his committed himself to Manchester City, and that may have been years rather than months ago - than the news that Jose Mourinho was coming to Manchester. Honestly, he must have felt like ripping up his contract when that happened."
Both United and City have started the season well, with three wins from their opening three games. Someone has to drop points next weekend though, and Andy Dunn has given his thoughts.
"If City were to have an edge on this, so far I've seen them move the ball more quickly," he said. "But United have been formidable.
"It's a great game so early in the season. We always knew it would be a great one to look forward to, but the way they've both started in terms of results and performances it's a great one to look forward to.
Much has been mentioned about Mourinho's squad choice, heightened by Marcus Rashford's late winner against Hull to force himself into the manager's thoughts.
Martin Lipton believes the Portuguese still won't rely on youngsters to fire his squad to victory.
"Mourinho is reluctant to play kids," he noted. "He doesn't do it and never has. He points to [Raphael] Varane and Davide Santon as the proof, whereas they're the exception to the rule. He trusts senior, experienced players to deliver.
"Rashford is clearly a talented boy and he will make impact. If he scores goals when he plays, then eventually he will have to play him. Allardyce's argument [for not picking him] is fair enough - he's not starting for his club."

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