Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Manchester United want to be “the boss of the city” ahead of Wednesday’s EFL Cup derby showdown, live on Sky Sports.
Local rivals United and City have already met this season in the Premier League, with Pep Guardiola’s side taking the points during a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic is no stranger to a derby game, having featured in El Clasico – under the management of Guardiola at Barcelona – the Milan derby and Le Classique, with Ronaldinho and Laurent Blanc the only other players to have featured in all three fixtures.
And despite a barren recent run in front of goal, the former Sweden international says he is gunning to get one over his newest foes.
“It’s a rival game between two teams from the same city – one is light blue, one is red. You always want to be the boss of the city, of course,” Ibrahimovic told the club’s official matchday programme United Review.
“I have big experience for these kinds of games. I’ve played all over Europe in similar games, the kind of games, let’s say, where the heat is. I came out as a winner many times in these moments so let’s hope this is another moment I can come out as a winner.”
The last Manchester derby in the competition came in 2010, where United won the semi-final fixture 4-3 on aggregate and went on to lift the trophy after beating Aston Villa in the final.
Ibrahimovic, who has scored just one in eight in all competitions, is targeting an improved performance following September’s disappointment, and is keen to bounce back following their 4-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
But despite increased scrutiny, the veteran forward says his team-mates believe in themselves.
“We cannot go back and change the result, absolutely not, but we can make a difference in the upcoming game. We have an opportunity to play against City again, at home,” Ibrahimovic added.
“We didn’t do good in the last game because we lost, obviously, but let’s change that for this game and win the game and go further in the cup. That’s what we want. We believe in ourselves and believe in what we are doing, that’s the main thing.
“They have good quality players, they know what they’re doing and what they need to do, but at the same time we know also what we need to do and what we are doing. It’s nice to play against good players because they are the games that you can bring out the maximum of yourself.”
Asked if he had bumped into any City fans around Manchester, he joked: “I’ve met a lot but they became United supporters when they met me!”