Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said "it’s always difficult to win against the big clubs and United is one of them," at a press conference at the club's training ground on Friday ahead of the much-awaited Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Guardiola expressed his excitement ahead of Sunday's clash, telling reporters “oh it’s so nice, it's the nicest one, I love it, I like it, both teams I think, always are special." He described the current Manchester United side as "incredibly aggressive," going on to say that "anything at Old Trafford is going to happen".

Guardiola highlighted how the match will be treated differently by both teams. “For them it’s so important to qualify for next season for the Champions League," he said, while for City, he envisions the match as preparation for two upcoming "finals". "It is special to improve, to prepare the next game, especially two finals at the end of the month against Madrid and Newcastle," explained Guardiola, referring to the second leg of their UEFA Champions League tie against Real Madrid on March 17th and their F.A Cup quarter final with Newcastle on March 21st.

Guardiola was also quizzed about the impact the novel coronavirus may have on their upcoming schedule, to which he responded “we try to do our normal life and when the authorities, the club, the politicians, the doctors will say what you have to do, that's what we are going to do.”

The coronavirus has had a huge impact on the world of sport already, with many Italian Serie A games being rearranged and eventually played behind closed doors. The Formula 1 Grand Prix in China has been postponed, as have the first two MotoGP races in Qatar and Thailand among many other sporting events. The Premier League have already made some restrictions, banning pre and post-match handshakes between the players for their own safety until further notice.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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