The momentum for one of the most important Manchester derbies in recent history is gathering pace as Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne responded to Manchester United's Paul Pogba's claim he 'hoped' some Blues' players would suffer injuries or suspensions ahead of the crucial Premier League clash on Sunday at Old Trafford.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, the Belgium international was hoping to face their bitter city rivals with both teams being at full strength, although Pogba's controversial comments took on an air of irony when the French international picked up a red card against Arsenal with his crude challenge on Hector Bellerin which meant that he would miss the titanic clash.
But De Bruyne dismissed the notion that karma had struck Pogba for his contentious words and said that he would rather they were at full strength and had all their best players available. The Belgian star said: “I don’t believe in that s**t, I’m a very straight forward guy, if someone believes it is karma then OK - everyone has their right to their opinion.
“I don’t want anyone to get injured. It’s a competition, you want to play against the best teams and the best players.”
Although Pogba's comments could be interpreted as being spiteful, the dynamic midfielder was trying to suggest lets see how City get on if some of their influential players were missing instead of wishing ill on their opponents.
However, De Bruyne was eager to avoid being drawn into a crossfire of words with his rival, although he did concede Pogba's three-match suspension could be a huge blow to the Reds' aspirations for their encounter.
City's midfielder explained: “It depends what they want to do, he’s a massive player - I know him a little bit, and he’s unbelievable.
“He took a red card and that’s the way it goes. You have injuries and suspensions.”
Regardless of what team United's Mourinho or City's Guardiola put out on Sunday afternoon, the match is sure to be one of the most intriguing and exciting fixtures of this season's Premier League.