Is Ole Guardiola's trickiest opponent?

Thursday 04 November 2021 12:43

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have been the leading Premier League team over the last five years or so, but they've not found it easy against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United.

In fact, the Norwegian has proven to be one of the trickiest opponents the Catalan coach has had to face across his whole career.
Solskjaer has won four of his eight meetings with Guardiola in all competitions, which is the best win rate of any manager to face the former Barcelona boss at least five times.
Ole is also the only manager to have beaten Guardiola more times (four) than he has lost to him (three) – again, that's of those who've faced Pep in at least five matches.
90 in 20: City 0 United 2 Video

90 in 20: City 0 United 2

Was that our best performance of the season on Sunday? Watch the extended highlights to make your mind up…

Both teams head into Saturday's derby in the middle of somewhat rocky patches of form, with a win, a draw and a defeat in each of their last three games across all competitions.
That sends the statisticians delving into this fixture's recent history and looking for clues as to which direction this next instalment of the United-City rivalry might head in.
And any Reds fearful of another Liverpool-style humiliation will be comforted to know that we are unbeaten in our last four Premier League encounters against the Blues.
Solskjaer did the double over Pep's men in 2019/20, and then managed a win and a draw last season.
Guardiola might have more famous nemeses, like Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho and Thomas Tuchel, but Ole's figures bear comparison with the best of the Spaniard's opponents.
Liverpool honcho Klopp is the man with the most victories against Guardiola (nine), but Pep has beaten him on just as many occasions.
Mourinho has seven wins from 25 games, while Mauricio Pochettino and Solskjaer are the next most successful, with four – though the Argentinian has faced Guardiola on substantially more occasions (21) than Ole's eight.
90 in 20: United 2 City 0 Video

90 in 20: United 2 City 0

Watch the extended highlights of 2020's brilliant Old Trafford win against our crosstown rivals...

But the United manager is the only man with a higher number than Guardiola in the victories column.
The crowd at Old Trafford on Saturday will hope that's an auspicious omen but, after the recent defeat to Liverpool, any optimism will be cradled tentatively.