Man City v Man Utd: Pep Guardiola’s view on Erling Haaland against ‘fantastic’ Lisandro Martinez

Pep Guardiola said the height difference between the players shouldn’t be a big factor in the Manchester derby.

Pep Guardiola said Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez is capable of dealing with ‘big strikers’ ahead of the clash with Erling Haaland in the Manchester derby.

Martinez’s height was a major talking point in the early weeks of the season but the spotlight has lessened on that particular issue of late after a few impressive performances.

Yet a meeting with Manchester City offers a real test for Martinez up against Haaland, who is a full 20 centimetres taller than the Argetinian.

Speaking ahead of the derby, Guardiola admitted he has been impressed with United’s summer signing while also acknowledging there is a big height gap between the two players.

“Erling is taller, that is for sure,” the City boss said on Friday, with a chuckle. “But I like when the people underestimate a football player just for his size.

Guardiola referred to Martinez as ‘fantastic'. Credit: Getty.

“He can tell them ‘I am here, I am a good player, I can play everywhere’. He’s a fantastic player, incredible build-up, good mentality, aggressive. You see this in his behaviours.

“It is not the first time he has played against strikers who are taller than him. In Holland, I am pretty sure there are big strikers and he handles it. Be intelligent, be brave and do it. But, of course, the crosses in that position, Erling is taller, that is right. We will see what happens.”

Haaland will be hoping to net in his first Manchester derby. Credit: Getty.

Haaland  is hoping to add to his 14 goals from 10 City games when he faces United on Sunday.

The Norwegian has never actually faced the Red Devils before in his career, while this will mark his first Manchester derby.

Haaland could also break a Premier League record if he manages to score a hat-trick this weekend. The striker would therefore have netted a treble in three successive home league matches, something which has never been done before.