Manchester United will welcome Man City to Old Trafford this weekend, but to police chiefs in Greater Manchester, UK, this isn’t a normal football game. 400 police chiefs will be deployed to Old Trafford after hearing of the old bitter feud between Man U manager Jose Mourinho and Man City manager Pep Guardiola.
The police officers are expected to be on duty for the 12.30pm kick-off and they will be briefed about the Mourinho/Guardiola feud which dates back to their days managing Real Madrid and Barcelona.
‘There is no intelligence to suggest that there will be mass disorder. And while it does not necessarily affect the risk element, police are aware of the Jose Mourinho/Pep Guardiola rivalry and that the arrival of the new managers and their own rivalry could bring heightened tension.
Chief Inspector Dean Howard, from greater Manchester Police (GMP), is Saturday’s match commander.
‘This is arguably the biggest game of the season so far and no doubt will have the eyes of the world watching. We have a lot of experience policing high-profile fixtures such as this and we work closely with officials and fan groups from both clubs. The vast majority of supporters are law-abiding members of the public and we hope all those in attendance enjoy the game in a competitive but safe atmosphere, allowing Manchester to once again showcase its football.’
Mourinho and Pep were once close friends and colleagues while they worked at Barcelona under Louis Van Gaal.