Jose Mourinho will sit and defend in Manchester derby, says Matt Le Tissier

Chris Smalling has praised Jose Mourinho
Image: Jose Mourinho will be happy to see his side sit deep in the Manchester derby, says Matt Le Tissier

Jose Mourinho will be happy to sit back and defend against rivals Manchester City in Sunday's crunch derby live on Sky Sports, says Matt Le Tissier.

The first instalment of the Manchester derby arrives this weekend, with United eight points behind their neighbours and the closest contenders to Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders.

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United will be desperate to avoid defeat in order to give themselves a fighting chance of winning the title and Le Tissier believes Mourinho would be foolish to try to match City attack for attack, despite the contest being played at Old Trafford.

"I think the way City are at the moment he'd be foolish to try play against them as 'you have an attack and we have an attack,'" Le Tissier said on Sky Sports Premier League Daily.

Manchester City's English midfielder Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Hu
Image: City's high-flying attacking line have been repeatedly punishing teams this season

"They have got the better attack, they've got the best attack in the Premier League by a mile in my opinion. I think there has to be a game plan involved [on Sunday] and if that means sitting deeper at home I don't think Jose will have a problem with doing that."

The fixture will see Mourinho make a call regarding his striking options and whether or not to play Romelu Lukaku up front with the returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

United's £75m summer signing has struggled for form in recent weeks, with speculation mounting that he may be dropped from the starting XI.

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The Belgian got back among the goals in midweek, however, hitting the back of the net as United came from behind to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday to win Group A and seal progression to the last 16.

Despite the criticism, Le Tissier believes Lukaku has done enough already to justify his hefty fee.

"He's got enough goals, perhaps not enough goals against those big boys but enough to justify the money that was laid out for him," Le Tissier said.

Jose Mourinho and Romelu Lukaku Manchester United v Brighton
Image: Mourinho is likely to stick with Romelu Lukaku following his midweek goal in the win over CSKA Moscow

"However, with Ibrahimovic coming back it does put that little bit of extra pressure on him so last night's goal (CSKA) was important because then he continued that run, if not then there's pressure on Jose to put Ibrahimovic back in that team after what he achieved last season."

However, one man who will be missing this weekend is the Premier League's most expensive footballer Paul Pogba, who begins the serving of a three-match suspension following his red card picked up at the Emirates for a dangerous challenge on Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin.

The Manchester Derby - Live on Sky Sports - Sunday December 10th.

The France international is another player Le Tissier believes has lived up to an eye-watering price tag, and will be a huge miss for Mourinho as United's driving force.

"Last season because of that tag people were expecting so much more of him which perhaps he didn't quite live up to, because of that bedding in season there," Le Tissier said.

Paul Pogba of Manchester United is shown a red card by referee Andre Marriner (obscure)
Image: United will be without the Premier League's most expensive footballer Paul Pogba following his recent red card

"I'm expecting him to kick on this season, and he has done, He's missed a few games through injury but there's been a big difference in that United side with him in the team.

"It appeared that United were scoring so many goals more. You can see when he returned to the team they started scoring freely again. You look at that price tag now and think, 'it's not that bad really is it?'"

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