Manchester United welcome their cross-town rivals to Old Trafford in what is shaping up as one of the most interesting and popular derbies in recent seasons 2015-2016.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed has no fresh injury concerns for the weekend derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford this weekend.
Meanwhile, when it comes to injuries, Manchester City have lost few of their star players and the list has only grown after Sergio Aguero and David Silva joined the list during the last international break.
City currently sits two points clear of United on top of the table, but a win for United would see them leap-frog City, possibly into first place.
With Chelsea having fallen off the pace and with only Arsenal seemingly shaping up as a serious title contenders, this match will have huge implications for the title race.
Derbies are always testing affairs but given the stakes and the context of the title race, they do not get much more important than this.
There is a big battle: Raheem Sterling vs Marcos Rojo
In the absence of Silva and Aguero, City’s attacking inspiration will need to come from a fresh source. The most likely sources are Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and English starlet Raheem Sterling. Sterling was on fire in his last Premier League outing against Bournemouth, netting his first hat-trick for the Sky Blues. He will need to bring that same lethal attitude in front of goal at Old Trafford.
Marcos Rojo has looked solid filling in at left-back since Luke Shaw’s broken leg, but this is by far his biggest test of the season. If Rojo and co. can limit Sterling’s impact, it will go a long way to securing a United victory.
The Red Devils have been without Juan Mata since he was substituted at half-time in their win at Everton. Jesse Lingard filled in for the Spanish playmaker in the midweek trip to Moscow but in a game of this magnitude Mata will surely reclaim his place in the starting lineup if fully healthy.
United’s holding midfield positions have seemingly been a three-way carousel this season with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin all regularly rotating. Schweinsteiger and Carrick appeared van Gaal’s preference in big games, but their poor display in United’s 3-0 thrashing by Arsenal could give the manager second thoughts.
The former Atletico Madrid star and Spain international will join, Sami Nasri, summer signing Fabian Delph for former Arsenal defender Gael Clichy on the treatment table. Manuel Pellegrini confirmed he has no new fresh injury concern for the clash against United.
The list of injured players is the same from the last game. It is David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri, Fabian Delph and Gael Clichy. Nobody will come back this week; maybe next week one or two players can start working with the team, but not yet
Manchester United Predicted Lineup XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea (GK); Darmian, Jones, Smalling, Rojo; Schweinsteiger, Carrick; Mata, Herrera, Rooney; Martial.
Manchester City Predicted Lineup XI (4-2-3-1): Hart (GK); Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Sagna; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, De Bruyne, Sterling; Bony.