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Pep Guardiola showers praise on Roberto De Zerbi ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion encounter

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has spoken highly of Roberto De Zerbi off the back of an impressive season with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Both coaches have been nominated for the Manager of the Season award, with Guardiola recently leading Man City to a fifth league crown in six years, while De Zerbi secured European football at Brighton for the first time in their history.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League meeting between the sides, Guardiola was full of praise for his Italian counterpart, labelling him ‘one of the most influential managers’ over the last two decades.

“I am pretty convinced I am right in what I am saying – he is one of the most influential managers of the last 20 years,” Guardiola said, as relayed by The Athletic.

“There is no team playing in the way they play – it’s unique. I had the feeling when he arrived the impact he would have on the Premier League would be great – I couldn’t expect him to do it in this sort of a team.

“He creates 20-25 chances on average per game – he’s better by far than all the opponents. He monopolises the ball in a way I’ve never seen for a long, long time. Everyone’s involved, the goalkeeper’s like a holding midfielder.

“They deserve completely the compliments and the success that they have. It’s one of the teams I try and learn a lot from.”

With the newly-crowned English champions unbeaten in their last 24 matches across all competitions, De Zerbi will be looking to inflict a first defeat on Man City since February.

City are keen to make it 13 league wins on the spin and pull further clear of Arsenal at the top of the standings heading into their season finale against European football hopefuls Brentford on Sunday.

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