Manchester City have been warned that they will be facing a striker every bit as good as Neymar and Luis Suarez in Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the weekend.
The former Sweden international, who will be 35 next month, has made a flying start to his Manchester United career since arriving on a free transfer from Paris St Germain in the summer.
He will take part in his biggest game yet for the Reds at lunchtime on Saturday when Jose Mourinho’s side host Pep Guardiola’s City in the derby.
Both sides have a 100% record so far this season and something has to give at Old Trafford, where City will be without their own star striker Sergio Aguero through suspension.
It is a chance for Ibrahimovic to take centre stage once more and one of his former team-mates has backed the big Swede to ultimately make the difference for United.
Former Italy World Cup-winning defender Gianluca Zambrotta, who played with Ibrahimovic at Juventus and AC Milan, said: “Wherever Zlatan plays he does very well.
“He is a winner everywhere he goes. He compares with the best players at the moment like Suarez and Neymar.”
Zambrotta, who now coaches Indian club Delhi Dynamos, added: “I played with him twice and he’s a good professional and has good motivation. I have always liked him.”
Ibrahimovic has won league titles with Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and PSG and would become the first player ever to win the championship in five different countries should United win the Premier League trophy this season.
Meanwhile, England U21 winger Nathan Redmond has tipped Marcus Rashford to become a proven Premier League star.
The Southampton man believes United striker Rashford can emulate former England youngsters after his debut hat-trick for the Young Lions on Tuesday.
Rashford marked his bow with a treble in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Norway in Colchester to put Gareth Southgate’s side on the brink of Euro 2017, in front of watching England boss Sam Allardyce.
It completed a double after he netted on his senior England debut against Australia in May, while he also scored on his Premier League and European bows for United.
Redmond is expecting big things and said: “Marcus has direct pace and his finishing is up there with some of the best I’ve seen for the England U21s. He is the same as Harry Kane and Saido Berahino — their finishing was incredible and Marcus is the same.
“He blended into the group really well. He knew most of the boys before he came but the U21s is a fantastic group to come into. The environment is easy going and everyone, from the manager and his staff to the players, make all the new boys feel welcome. He worked hard in training and showed his qualities there.
“He is just a normal kid, a typical 18-year-old who loves his football.”
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