By 90Min
December 08, 2017

Former Manchester City striker Paul Dickov has admitted his concern surrounding the physicality and aerial ability of fierce rivals Manchester United ahead of the two sides meeting at Old Trafford on Sunday. 

The Premier League heavyweight pairing go into the mouth-watering contest in fine runs of form, with the Citizens still unbeaten domestically and the Red Devils fresh off the back of four consecutive victories in the top flight. 

However, despite Pep Guardiola's side's dominance, which has afforded them an eight-point buffer over this weekend's opposition in the title race, they have shown frailties at the back, particularly from set pieces - and Dickov told betsafe.com that the leaders must be wary of falling victim to a physical United side. 

In their most recent domestic contest, West Ham caused the City backline a number of problems in the opening 45 minutes from crosses and set-pieces, and eventually took the lead at the Etihad Stadium through that very outlet. 

The same could be said surrounding the dramatic victory over Southampton days earlier, with the Saints realising and attempting to cash in on one of the north-west side's rare weaknesses. 

The Citizens have certainly adopted their Spanish manager's possession-based game, however are yet to be tested by an overly physical side, something United possess in abundance. 

It will be intriguing to see which style between the delicate of modern-day football opted for by Guardiola and Jose Mourinho's usual big-game legacy approach will be most effective, but it is the latter which is causing real concern for Dickov surrounding his former side. 

"City’s goals will come from all over", the former attacker said. "The one thing that worries me is United’s physicality and height. Where City have struggled at times this season is set pieces. 

"Going back to the West Ham game at the weekend and the Southampton game mid-week with set pieces: the opposition set up in a way that they get all their big players in the six yard boys. For instance in the Southampton game last week, City had Gabriel Jesus picking up van Dijk. Southampton could have been two goals up mainly from set pieces. 

"If you think Fellaini is probably going to play, they’ve got Lukaku, the centre halves - United are a big physical team. 

"City have got the players who will find little pockets and that will play into their hands. Sane and Stirling are going to be massive, especially if United play three at the back.”


Watch the betsafe.com interview with Paul Dickov and Bryan Robson, including how United will be working on preventing City from building play from the back

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