Football News

Sheffield United vs Man City: Pep Guardiola explains why he “admires” Chris Wilder’s style

By Ben Green

Sheffield Utd vs Manchester City

Published: 16:25, 20 January 2020

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed his admiration for Chris Wilder’s style of football ahead of his side’s meeting with Sheffield United.

The reigning Premier League champions travel to Bramall Lane on Tuesday night, with the Blades just six points off the top four and 14 behind the visitors.

What is Wilder’s style of play? Five things to know…

  • Wilder has been praised for his unique overlapping centre-back system at Sheff Utd.
  • His expansive brand of football has thrived during the club’s Premier League return.
  • Sheff Utd predominately deploy a 3-5-2 formation, which has seen them climb up to seventh in the league.
  • The South Yorkshire club are just six points off a Champions League qualification place.
  • Guardiola has now outlined his respect for Wilder and his style of play ahead of Sheff Utd v Man City.

Under Wilder’s guidance the South Yorkshire club have flourished during their first return to the top flight since 2007, garnering plenty of admiring glances for their attractive and unique style of play.

Among their enthusiasts is none other than Guardiola, who has forged his own reputation for espousing an aesthetically pleasing brand of football during stints with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man City.

The Catalonian says he is not surprised Sheff Utd are doing so well this season, such is the brilliance of Wilder’s system.

“I’m incredibly impressed,” Guardiola told reporters. “When people say you can improve watching other games, other teams, other managers, this is the one.

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“I never saw some movements they are doing. That’s the reason why they are in the position they are.

“We saw it here [at the Etihad Stadium], we suffered here a few weeks ago. I’m really impressed. I admire them, honestly. I admire how they play and what they are doing.

“It’s the same manager and a high percentage of the same players from League One, the Championship, now the Premier League, being near the top of the league up there.

“I like it. As a manager, you see some teams so you can improve – this is the one.”

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Wilder: We’ll need to produce one of our best performances

Sheff Utd lost 2-0 to Man City at the Etihad earlier this campaign, but Wilder was impressed with his side’s performance and believes they can cause Guardiola and Co a few problems later this week.

“We’ll need to produce one of our best performances of the season to get a result, and our performance at their place last month was excellent – in and out of possession, we had a really good shape and we limited them to very little, which was pleasing,” Wilder said.

“The players did a fabulous job and still had a threat going the other way, we got the balance right. We might have to be a bit more adventurous this time because we’re at home but nothing is going to change too much.

“We understand the quality they have and we are going to have to play really well but want to make it competitive and be aggressive in our approach.

“We know they will have the ball a lot but I like to think we can cause them a few problems going the other way, like we did at their place.”