Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea believes Sunday’s Manchester derby is as much about whether Manchester City can stop them at Old Trafford as the other way round.
The Red Devils will be hoping to put an end to City’s 13-game winning streak in the Premier League and close the gap at the top of the table to their rivals.
But De Gea feels that the visitors will also be keen to stop United, the top-flight's second-highest scorers having netted three goals or more in 10 games across all competitions this season.
Sky Sports presenter Thierry Henry spoke to De Gea on Sky’s Match Zone Special with the Spanish shot-stopper asked about adapting to life in England, saving with his feet and the upcoming derby.
Adapting to life in England
After arriving from Atletico Madrid back in 2011, De Gea had a tough start to life in England.
At the age of just 19, he underwent a fair amount of criticism when battling it out for the number one spot with Anders Lindegaard.
“It was really difficult for me at the beginning,” said United’s number one when recalling his early United career.
“Not just with football, with life and everything, the weather and the language, but step-by-step I kept my focus on football, trying to improve, and going to the gym to improve my body. Now I am really happy here, stronger as a goalkeeper and as a person, everything.”
Reacting with his feet
De Gea pulled off a sensational save with his left foot against rivals Liverpool back in October, earning his side a point, and completed similar heroics in the recent win at Arsenal.
“You cannot train saving with your feet,” De Gea told Henry when asked about his reaction saves.
He added that it is sometimes "quicker to go with your feet" because "going with your hands is sometimes more difficult" and added: "Even when I was young I would go with my feet, it’s sometimes good for me.”
The Manchester derby
“Well can City stop United as well, no?” said the Spaniard when asked if United could stop free-scoring City, the run-away league leaders and favourites for the title.
“We play at home with the fans, a special game of course. We arrive with confidence, we’re really strong and we want to win," he warned."
De Gea added: “I think the team is really good in the moment. We won two difficult away games, so we have confidence, we are strong and play an important game.”
José Mourinho’s United face Pep Guardiola’s City on Sunday.
City go into the game with the chance of equalling Arsenal’s Premier League record of 14 consecutive wins between February 2002 and August the same year.
However United have not lost at Old Trafford for 40 matches, a joint club record, with records set to be broken if a winner can be found.