Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola described old foe Jose Mourinho as a "good guy" ahead of this weekend's Manchester derby.
United boss Mourinho has clashed with Guardiola numerous times over the years, with their previously intense rivalry dating back to when they coached Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Mourinho was widely assumed to have been annoyed by Barca's decision to appoint Guardiola over himself in 2008 and the pair had a number of fractious encounters during their time together in LaLiga.
A Clasico clash provided the nadir when Mourinho poked a finger into the eye of Guardiola's assistant Tito Vilanova during a touchline fracas.
But since they took charge at United and City the relationship between Mourinho and Guardiola appears more cordial, with the Catalan happy to avoid the rows of the past.
"Thank you so much. Thank you," Guardiola said when asked if he was pleased the pre-match focus was not placed on the perceived battle between himself and Mourinho.
"At the end we are both good guys, more than you expect. It's much better, believe me."
"We are a not a team that gives up," says the boss. "We are a team that always finds a way to fight back. Sometimes changing results, sometimes not. But we are a team that has a collective spirit to fight back." #MUFC pic.twitter.com/NeB12Fj82f— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 9, 2018
United cross Manchester on Sunday following successive comeback wins, a 2-1 triumph at Bournemouth followed by a stunning Champions League victory at Serie A giants Juventus by the same scoreline.
Juan Mata's free-kick got United back on terms after Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring, with Leonardo Bonucci's own goal in the 89th minute then earning United a famous victory in Group H.
"No team wins in Turin in the last nine years, how strong Juventus are," Guardiola said of United's eye-catching result.
"They had a problem for 10 minutes after Cristiano's goal but they were so stable with a lot of commitment, aggressive without the ball. A few weeks ago at Stamford Bridge [against Chelsea], one of the toughest places, they almost won.
"It's always complicated. In our history of Manchester City it's hard to beat United and they beat us more times but it's a good rivalry and a good chance for three points.
"We will try especially to have a good game. We'll speak with the players about what we guess will happen and suggest what we should do to win the game.
"We have to play good, only one challenge in football is to play good, and have more chance to win. The top teams, you cannot imagine and think about it, play amazingly for 90 minutes and they don't have chances."
PEP: It’s Man United. Them and Liverpool are the strongest teams in the history of England. You have to play like you deserve to be there.— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 9, 2018
United are arriving in a good moment.
Hopefully it will be a good derby and everyone will enjoy watching the game.
United also came from behind to win at the Etihad Stadium in April, denying City the chance to clinch the Premier League title in the Manchester derby with a stunning 3-2 victory.
"The first 75 minutes in the last game, I'd like to play the same, top for 75 minutes, but United showed us last season they need 10, 15, 20 minutes to create a lot of chances," Guardiola said.
"The sensation when they have the ball with players in front, wow, they have incredible talent in front and the middle. You have to defend deep and well, defend crosses well because they are so strong and better than us at set-pieces.
"Bring our game and control as much as possible, be clinical - that's the game we will try to do."
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|
|Germany 3 Russia 0: Sane on target as Low´s men stroll|
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|