Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: 'David Silva controls the tempo'

Manchester City won 4-1 on their last trip to Stoke

Of course, I think we could do that when you are always hand in hand with the club. Over the weekend, United beat Liverpool meaning an essential elimination of the reds from the title run.

But Guardiola was quick to emphasise that the derby comes between the two legs of the Champions League quarter-finals against an opponent to be decided in Friday's draw, with United looking to book their place in the last eight on Tuesday. "For me, the most important thing is to make the second-team (Under-23) league stronger".

"Everybody in the blue side of Manchester knows it's a once in a lifetime opportunity".

"We were lucky last season to win there".

Pep Guardiola manager thanked Manchester City's Abu Dhabi owners for standing by him when he failed to deliver any trophies in his first season at the club.

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Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says national teams can benefit when players step out of their comfort zone and make a move overseas at an early age. I want to be part of that history.

David Silva's double downed Stoke City and the title could now be wrapped up with victory against Manchester United on April 7.

Guardiola praised Silva, who joined City in the summer of 2010, for his ability to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.

"If we try to play football the same way they do then we will be beaten - that's the reality".

"I think they became stronger players - Xabi Alonso, Mikel Arteta, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas - a lot of young players chose to come here, and play in that league. He has the skills no doubt about that but in the bad moments he is there to control the game and he is an aggressive competitor".

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"I know in my private life it's a very hard moment, but my son is fighting and I'm very happy because he's getting better and getting stronger".

Even when City goalkeeper Ederson was forced into his first serious action of the evening, it was from his own player, as Kyle Walker intercepted Butland's long clearance with a deflection the Brazilian was forced to tip over his crossbar.

Silva conjured up a 10th-minute goal to floor the plucky Potters before they'd really had time to do anything about it.

Stoke City and especially the games at the Bet365 stadium have posed a significant problem to Manchester City in recent years.

The Argentine says he could be out for up to two weeks, which means he is expected to return for the visit to Everton at the end of March.

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