Jose Mourinho has dismissed Manchester United’s height advantage over Manchester City ahead of the derby between the two sides on Sunday.
Manchester City sits eight points clear of second-placed United at the top of the Premier League table, with many pundits claiming Mourinho’s men must win in order to keep the title race alive.
Pep Guardiola’s side have looked imperious at times during their 13-game winning run but in the build-up to Sunday’s match, their lack of physicality has been highlighted as a potential disadvantage
According to a study conducted in October by CIES, City’s squad is the shortest in the Premier League with an average height of 5ft 8in, while United’s players average 6ft 0in.
Mourinho, however, dismissed any suggestion that United’s height advantage would have a telling impact.
“I think it will be easy for [Vincent] Kompany to compete against [Juan] Mata in the air,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
The city team has conceded twice from set pieces in their last three games too, with corners leading to a Nicolas Otamendi own goal at Huddersfield and Angelo Ogbonna’s opener in last week’s narrow win over West Ham United.
Guardiola himself acknowledged his side’s problems at set-pieces and the height difference between his side and United last week.
“We spoke a lot about defending set-pieces but they are taller,” the City manager said after beating David Moyes’ West Ham. “It will happen again next week against United so we have to try and concede fewer set-pieces.”