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Jose Mourinho warns referee about Manchester City divers

MANCHESTER -- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told derby referee Michael Oliver to watch out for Manchester City players diving at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Mourinho admitted at his pre-match news conference on Friday he is concerned some City players have a tendency to "lose their balance very easily."

He is not the first Premier League manager to point the finger at Pep Guardiola's side.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche claimed Bernardo Silva cheated to win a penalty in October, while Arsene Wenger accused Raheem Sterling of diving to win a penalty against Arsenal last month.

Leroy Sane was criticised for going down too easily to win a penalty against Middlesbrough last season, while Fernandinho was booked for diving by referee Craig Pawson during City's 2-1 win over Huddersfield two weeks ago.

The man in the middle this weekend will be Oliver, who has awarded three penalties against United in the last five of their games he has officiated.

"City are a good team," said Mourinho.

"They defend well, they react well to the moment they lose the ball. They have a good dynamic in attack, they have creative movement, they have amazing players they have a fantastic coach, they have lots of good things.

Raheem Sterling was accused of diving against Arsenal last month.

"If you ask me one thing that I don't like a lot is that they lose their balance very easily. A little a bit of wind and they fall."

It is likely Guardiola will wear a yellow ribbon on the touchline this weekend in a continued show of support for politicians Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, who have been imprisoned amid the row over Catalan independence.

Only overtly offensive political messages are considered to be against UEFA rules, while the FA have similar guidelines.

But Mourinho, who has worked in Spain for Barcelona and rivals Real Madrid, has questioned whether he would be allowed to do the same.

He added: "I think that our political ideology and our political beliefs is something that we have the right to have.

"We are normal citizens like everybody else in our countries and everybody else in our world.

"I've known Pep for many years, I think I know what Pep feels about his country. To have it in football, I don't know the rules.

"If the rules allow us to do that, he is a free citizen to do it. But I am not sure if the rules allow any political message on the pitch. That's just my doubt.

"But I know Pep and I know his feelings like everyone else because it is public about his country. I think I wouldn't be allowed to, that's just what I think."

United will look to set a new club record of 41 consecutive games unbeaten at home when City visit this weekend.

Mourinho has, at times, called on the United fans to create more of an atmosphere at Old Trafford since taking over from Louis van Gaal as manager in 2016.

But the 54-year-old insisted ahead of the derby he would not make any more demands of the club's supporters.

He said: "I stop with that. I'm not going to write any more words about it, I'm not going to say any more words about it.

"We are paid to work and to work hard and to give the best we can, not to criticise fans and I'm not going to say any words.

"It is the reality of things. I'm not paid to come here and make any comments or to ask for something from the fans. I am paid to give them happiness which is what I try to do every day."

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

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