Rio Ferdinand claims Manchester City have “put tiki taka to one side” after signing Erling Haaland.
City will take on Ferdinand’s former club Manchester United in the highly-anticipated Manchester Derby on Saturday. The Red Devils will need to keep City’s phenomenal striker Haaland quiet if they are to have any hope of securing three points at Old Trafford.
Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival in the summer, netting 21 in 16 appearances. Yet the Norwegian has attracted criticism for not always being involved in build-up play and City losing some of their trademark swagger.
READ MORE: Southampton fans troll Erling Haaland with 's*** Rickie Lambert' chant after big miss
But BT Sport pundit Ferdinand believes Pep Guardiola’s side are more of a threat with him spear-heading the attack.
He said: “Everyone was saying City haven’t got a Plan B but Erling Haaland is the Plan A now. Put tika taka football on the side for a little bit.
"We saw at the weekend we saw the Foden goal – from back to front with about 20 passes. They can still do it but they have more strings to their bow now and it makes them a more difficult team to play against.
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"If you shut them down and they don’t get in their rhythm or knock them off it a little bit, in years gone by you could say you know what we are probably going to get a result here. They are going to have to find another way.
"But now you shut them down they can quite easily go from back to front through wide areas and something will happen."
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Haaland came under fire for taking 21 minutes to touch the ball against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week. It added to the recent scrutiny over City losing their touch this season, having fallen behind Arsenal in the race for the title.
Guardiola’s side will know that Saturday’s derby provides the perfect opportunity to silence their critics. But United are a different beast these days under Erik ten Hag and will make it difficult for the reigning champions, having won four league games on the trot.
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- Rio Ferdinand
- Pep Guardiola
- Manchester United FC
- Manchester City FC
- Premier League
- Erling Haaland
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