By Mark Weasley
The Manchester derby this weekend promises to be the biggest match of the season as both clubs will be looking to outwit one another. There are a lot of subplots going into the clash. United will want to stop City from recording their 14th consecutive victory in the Premier League, which would be a new Premier League record for most consecutive wins in a single league season.
United will also be looking to set a new club record of 41 matches unbeaten at Old Trafford. With both teams looking at the derby on Sunday there were mixed results in the Champions League. City lost 2-1 in Donetsk to Shakhtar while United came back from a goal down to defeat Russian giants, CSKA Moscow.
With Paul Pogba out of the match due to suspension, we take a look at the players that may feature for United in the all-important match.
David de Gea is expected to start in goal yet again after being rested in mid-week. The 27 year old Spanish goalkeeper has kept 9 clean sheets this season, and will be looking to maintain his incredible form against City’s marauding front line.
While Eric Bailly is expected to miss out on this clash, and Phil Jones just returning to full fitness, the pair of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof are expected to start the game. Both men have looked good in recent matches, creating a partnership based on commitment communication and determination while on the left hand side of defence, Ashley Young will be fresh after being rested in midweek. At right back, Antonio Valencia will get to play as he has been an ever present for us this season.
With Paul Pogba out, Ander Herrera is expected to partner Nemanja Matic at the base of the midfield. Matic is nursing a slight injury but should be fit for this one while Herrera has the chance to regain the trust of his manager as he has struggled to play this season given his exploits of last season.
Further forward, Anthony Martial should be looking to continue his rich vein of form starting out from the left while in the hole behind the striker, Jesse Lingard will be looking to continue his rich vein of form against the Citizens. On the right, Marcus Rashford will be looking to build on his goal against CSKA Moscow with an assured performance down the right flank and offer defensive cover with his astonishing work rate.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not fully fit, Romelu Lukaku will get the biggest chance to show his quality against a City back line that is missing his former Everton teammate, John Stones. The 24 year old striker has come in for criticism recently but scored a brilliant goal against CSKA in midweek.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Young, Herrera, Matic, Martial, Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku.