Kevin De Bruyne is disappointed Paul Pogba will miss Sunday’s Manchester derby through suspension, because he wants to play against the “best teams and the best players”.
Pogba will begin a three-game ban for his red card at Arsenal after United decided against an appeal and will now miss the derby game live on Sky Sports, as well as the visit of Bournemouth and the trip to West Brom.
The France international had said he hoped ‘very important’ City players would suffer injuries in the title race, but De Bruyne played down suggestions that Pogba’s ban is karma for those comments and instead revealed he is disappointed the 24-year-old will miss the game at Old Trafford.
“I don’t believe in that,” De Bruyne said. “I’m a very straightforward guy. If someone believes it is karma then OK. Everyone has their right to their opinion.
“I don’t want anyone to get injured. It’s a competition, you want to play against the best teams and the best players.
“I don’t care [what he says]. He can say whatever he wants. We just have to be focused on whatever we’re doing.
“He’s a massive player. I know him a little bit. He’s unbelievable. He took a red card and that’s the way it goes – you have injuries and suspensions.”
Leaders Manchester City are eight points in front of second-placed United ahead of their first meeting of the season on Sunday.
De Bruyne added: “It means we almost have a four-game advantage [if City win]. It’s a good gap but doesn’t mean anything. Football goes very quick. It’s a busy two months when things can change but the way we’re going is good and we need to continue that.
“United are one of the biggest clubs in the country. They’re a massive team, they want to win the title. They spent a lot of money, like a lot of the big teams. They will be up for it and we will be up for it. Hopefully, it’ll be a good game. We’ll play the same there. We never change. We try to do the things that we are good at. That gives us the best chance to win.”
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