With United having just returned from a long trip to Russia to face CSKA Moscow on Wednesday night, it leaves the team short of practice time to face a City side basking in confidence.
United boss Louis van Gaal would do well to inject some fresh legs into the starting eleven.
Here is how I think the United squad will line-up:
This position is exclusively for David De Gea’s and he doesn’t look like relinquishing it anytime soon. His inclusion would be vital and reassuring to the United backline.
Antonio Valencia should get the nod ahead of Mateo Damian. Valencia has been involved in numerous Manchester derby and would provide a better attacking and defensive option to thwart the City left winger.
Daley Blind should replace the ineffective Rojo. Blind would provide more width to the United left flank and is capable of delivering some deadly crosses.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones should marshal the heart of the United defence. Chris Smalling’s tremendous form this season and Jones’ doggedness would be needed to tame the firing City attackers.
Fellaini has made a case for a starting role in the United set up, so Van Gaal should include him along with Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera. This three energetic players would be able to contain City’s midfielders.
Juan Mata should replace Jesse Lingard who was preferred ahead of the Spaniard at CSKA Moscow. His performance would be key as he is one of the in-form players in United.
Anthony Martial may be a goal poacher but he has shown so far that he can play anywhere up front, so Van Gaal should use him there to keep the City backline worried all through the game. He’s got pace and can track back to support the left hand side of the United defence.
Wayne Rooney may not be the in-form player or the class act of 3 years ago, but he is still the record older for most goals in the Manchester derby and would be motivated with the possibility of equalling Denis law’s record by scoring just 1 more goal.