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Guardiola, not Mourinho, playing Man United football - Kanchelskis

Pep Guardiola, not Jose Mourinho, is playing football better suited to Manchester United's traditions. And if Manchester City win the derby this weekend, the title race will be over, according to Andrei Kanchelskis.

Kanchelskis was part of the United side that won the Premier League and FA Cup double in 1994. With the Russian on the right wing and Ryan Giggs on the left, Sir Alex Ferguson labelled the team one the best he assembled during his time at Old Trafford.

United scored 80 league goals on their way to the title in 1994 -- 17 more than second-place Blackburn. But Kanchelskis says that under Guardiola City are now the Premier League's top entertainers. And he thinks United's history of playing attacking football is so important that he would have given old teammate Giggs the job when Ferguson retired in 2013.

"Some games I am not happy," he said.

"It is not like we played under Ferguson. We always played with wingers.

"Now it is City who play with wingers and you can see City are scoring a lot of goals.

Jose Mourinho and Man United can gain ground and open the title race back up with a win vs. City.
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will face off this weekend.

"It would have been better to keep Ryan Giggs. Try him. He had worked all his life at United, he understood everything. The fans would help him, the fans trust him.

"If you keep Giggs as coach, the results would definitely have been better than under Louis van Gaal, and David Moyes as well."

City are the Premier League's top scorers so far this season with 46 and head into Sunday's derby at Old Trafford with an eight-point lead at the top of the table.

Kanchelskis believes Mourinho's team will have to beat City twice this season to stand any chance of lifting the title.

But he insists that if Guardiola triumphs this weekend, the race will be over.

He added: "If United can win both derbies then they will have a good chance of winning the title.

"But if they lose on Sunday it is finished. There will be no chance. It will be 11 points -- it is not possible. It is too much."

Kanchelskis, who played for both United and City during a playing career that spanned 18 years, has fond memories of the derby.

He scored a hat-trick for United in a 5-0 win over City in 1994 and his final game for City was a 1-1 draw with United at Old Trafford in 2001.

"The Manchester derby is a special game," said the 48-year-old, who was speaking at the launch of his autobiography, Russia Winters.

"I remember Ferguson would make us all stay in a hotel the night before the derby to prepare for the game -- he wanted everyone concentrate on the game.

"For a normal home game we would just go from our home to the stadium but before a derby home or away we would stay in a hotel.

"If you won a derby, all season the fans would say 'well done guys you beat City.'

"I'm looking forward to this derby because it will be interesting because it is a different Man City now and a different Man United.

"When I played for City they were not the biggest club, they were just OK, and in the derby we would fight hard because United were the dominant team at the time. Now there is a big change.

"It is an important season for both coaches -- Mourinho and Guardiola.

"Last season City didn't win a trophy and United didn't win the league, just the League Cup and Europa League.

"So it is very important game for both coaches. Big names in both teams. I can't wait for this game. It is going to be very, very interesting."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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