Cruyff disciples square off today

October 15, 2016
Manchester City's David Silva (left) vies for the ball with Tottenham Hotspur's Victor Wanyama during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane stadium in London on October 2. The game ended 2-2 as Spurs went second in the league.


It's a first managerial meeting today between two disciples of Johan Cruyff: Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman.

Koeman acted as a mentor for a young Guardiola when they played together under Cruyff at Barcelona in the early 1990s, with both players central to the style desired by the late Dutch great.

Now they are two of the most respected coaches around. Guardiola, in his first season in English football, has guided City to first place in the league with six wins from seven games, while Everton are in fifth place in Koeman's first season at Goodison Park.

Wayne Rooney would love nothing more than to score against Liverpool on Monday. He may not get the chance.

Rooney has started on the bench for Man United's last two league games and was also dropped by England this week, demoted to a substitute's role against Slovenia on Tuesday.

The former Everton forward has previously said he "hates" Liverpool, comments which are regularly brought up to add an inflammatory edge to what already is traditionally the biggest game in English football. Northwest rivals United (20) and Liverpool (18) have more league titles than any other teams in the country.

Liverpool are in fourth place, three points ahead of sixth-place United.

Boosted by a 2-0 win over Manchester City last time out, second-place Tottenham protect the league's only unbeaten record when they visit West Bromwich Albion, when it's also Chelsea vs Leicester, Bournemouth vs Hull, Stoke vs Sunderland and Crystal Palace vs West Ham.

Tomorrow, Middlesbrough host Watford and Southampton are at home to Burnley.

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