Pep Guardiola & Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in War of Words Over Tactical Fouls Ahead of Manchester Derby

​Pep Guardiola has accused Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of trying to influence the referee ahead of the Premier League's 44th Manchester derby on Wednesday.

Both sides face up against each other at Old Trafford in one of the most highly anticipated games in recent years, with the league title expected to be theoretically decided either in Manchester City's favour or Liverpool's.

There has been a war of words between the two managers too, with Manchester United's Solskjaer first warning his players that their local rivals "will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you" during the derby.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,Josep Guardiola

But Guardiola hit back at Solskjaer's comments, hinting that the Norwegian only said what he did to try and influence the referee for the Manchester derby, Andre Marriner.

"No. My team is not built for that, not at all," Guardiola said, quoted by The Telegraph. "I never prepare a game in 10 seasons as a manager thinking about these kind of things. Never.

"The players can talk about it better than me about that - the players I had at BarcelonaBayern Munich and here. Never have I said [to] one player to make fouls to avoid something [counter-attacks].

"Maybe [on Wednesday] in the press conference after the game you can ask him again about that."

When asked if Solskjaer was looking to influence Marriner, Guardiola said: "That’s the reason why, of course."

While Guardiola might take exception to Solskjaer's comments, a fan account on Twitter has pointed that not only do Manchester City statistically commit a lot of fouls, but that their coaching staff were also caught telling players to foul the opposition during their Amazon documentary.

Wednesday's derby will be a catch-22 for Manchester United fans, as while most supporters would rather see City win the league ahead of their long-term rivals Liverpool, defeat in midweek would all but end their faint hopes of finishing inside the top four this season.

Source : 90min