Xabi Alonso: Mourinho & Guardiola are very similar

The Bayern Munich midfielder has played under both coaches and, despite their fierce rivalry, he insists they share many traits in personality and coaching style

Xabi Alonso believes Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have many similarities as coaches as they prepare to go head-to-head in Saturday's Manchester derby.

Once friends when they worked together at Barcelona, the pair now have a tense relationship which started during Mourinho's time at Inter and intensified when he took charge of Real Madrid while Guardiola was at the Catalan side.

The rivalry is set to be reignited this weekend when Manchester United welcome Guardiola's Manchester City at Old Trafford for the first derby of the season.

READ MORE | Who is the better manager - Mourinho or Guardiola?

Alonso, who worked with Mourinho at Madrid and Guardiola at Bayern Munich, says the two are very similar and believes working with either of them is a massive boost to any player.

"It is a very big game in England," he told reporters. "I think it will be a tactical match. Both coaches are methodic - they want to analyse everything. We'll see what will happen. I hope I can watch the game."

​"​I think they share many things in terms of their personality and the leaders they are. In terms of football, they have their own idea how to approach the game, the ambition they have, in an attacking sense and defensively. In those terms they are different. But for sure they are very competitive and they get the best from each player.

"For a player it is like a motivation to have a trainer that gets the best out of you. They are always demanding, that's the best thing."