Manchester City midfielder IIkay Gundogan believes that Manchester United are “stronger than ever” under Erik ten Hag.
The Red Devils head into the second derby of the season, which takes place at Old Trafford on Saturday, in formidable form.
The twenty-time league champions are on an eight-game winning streak and have lost just once since being battered 6-3 against Pep Guardiola’s Citizens at the Etihad, at the start of October.
Victory for Ten Hag’s side against the defending champions at the Theatre of Dreams would see United move one point behind the favourites for the league crown.
IIkay Gundogan claims Manchester United are “stronger than ever”
Guardiola’s side go into the second derby of the season having suffered a shock exit in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals to Southampton.
City’s 2-0 defeat at St Mary’s means United are the last English club competing in four competitions this season.
Following City’s shock defeat to Nathan Jones’ Saints, Gundogan’s focus quickly turned to the derby.
While the Germany international never faced Sir Alex Ferguson’s United, the 32-year-old has sung Ten Hag’s praises and his glowing comments highlight the phenomenal job the three-time Eredivisie winner has done at Carrington after enduring a difficult start to his reign.
Speaking via City’s official website, Gundogan said: “It’s never easy for the confidence to lose a game before such a big derby.
“We go to Old Trafford, we know we’ve done well there in recent years.
“It feels like this United side is probably stronger than ever, or especially in the recent past.
“They are full of confidence, they will play good football and we will need a much better performance than today.”
City have won the last three derbies and Ten Hag will be targeting his first victory over Guardiola who he worked alongside during their time together at Bayern Munich.