Paul Pogba Backs Manchester United to End Manchester City's Unbeaten Run

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will miss Sunday's (December 10) derby against Manchester City but has backed his teammates to end their local rivals' unbeaten run in the Premier League this season.

Leader City will equal the all-time English top-flight record of 14 consecutive victories with a win at Old Trafford and extend its lead over second-place United to 11 points.

Pogba, who is serving a three-match domestic ban after receiving a red card in the win over Arsenal, said United must be ruthless in front of goal if it is to record a first win in three league games over City.

"I have complete trust in the team. Even if I'm not there, I'll be there watching the game, giving positive energy and, hopefully, we're going to win," the 24-year-old told reporters.

"You need to kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well up front and they can kill the game at any time.

"They're first for good reason, because they've been doing great at the start of the season. They keep winning, they didn't lose one game and obviously, mentally, they're very strong. We need to be as good as they are, mentally."

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, December 5. Pogba will be absent from Sunday's Manchester derby after being sent off against Arsenal. Gareth Copley/Getty

Pogba's teammate Juan Mata admitted United would be weaker without the Frenchman but suggested Jose Mourinho's squad had the strength and depth to cope.

"He's a fantastic player. He's a very complete midfielder, he can do all things," Mata said. "He will be a big miss but another player will play and try his best.

"I think we have a good squad and have good players to replace any other player. Hopefully we can win for him."

Mata added: "Now, especially on Sunday and during Christmas time, which we all know how difficult it is to win every single game, we need to keep that pace if we want to be in a position to challenge for the title."

Due to the suspension, Pogba played 90 minutes in United's 2-1 Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, providing an assist to Romelu Lukaku who netted only his second goal in his last 13 games in all competitions.

"For a striker to score a goal it gives him positive energy as well [as confidence]. He needed this," Pogba added.

"He deserved it because he's been working very hard for the team and obviously we know how important he is for us. We are going to need him as well for the derby."

Pogba will also miss the visit of Bournemouth to Old Trafford on December 13 and the trip to West Brom four days later.