Premier League English

Man City legend warns Ten Hag and United ‘things can change very quickly’

Manchester United are excitedly wagging their tails going into the Manchester derby, but a damper has been sent by a former Manchester City player who has loads of experience overcoming the Red Devils.

Days before the second Manchester Derby of the season City legend Joleon Lescott has seen it fit to warn United that form can “change very quickly”.

Erik ten Hag’s side were ruthlessly decapitated by Pep Guardiola’s dominant Blues 6-3 in October. However, the contest now looming at Old Trafford appears to be a lot more even with United currently enjoying an eight match winning streak, while City were knocked out of the League Cup by 20th-placed Southampton.

A win would see the Red Devils move within one point of their dominant city rivals in the Premier League. However, Lescott has issued the warning to Ten Hag and his confident Red Devils that things can change in just the blink of an eye.

“I still think they are one or two seasons away, genuinely, because we’re saying this is form, and when it’s form that can change pretty quickly,” Lescott said on behalf of BT Sports. “The reason why I say that – not just for them because there’s other teams as well that I think are behind Liverpool and City due to the standard that they’ve set.

“We’ve seen Man Utd in the past go 10-12 games unbeaten. But we’ve seen Liverpool and City go and win 10 in a row.

“That’s the new normal, that’s a third of the points you need to win the league. So until someone’s able to do that, you can’t genuinely be considered.

“We’ve seen Arsenal do that now and they’re flying at the top of the league and still people are doubting whether they are contenders. So, in regards to Man Utd, I still think they are a couple of seasons away.”

United are currently sitting astride fourth place, only four points away from the Citizens. For the moment form and confidence seem to be in United’s favor while City appear to be slumbering with a three match winless run over their rivals.

The last occasion which saw United ran out winners in a Premier League match against City would have been pre-pandemic when Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay both got on the scoresheet under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the manager during that occasion.

However, as the popular, and ominous, saying goes before a derby, form will go out of the window when United and City both cross the white line at Old Trafford.