Five changes Manchester United have to consider ahead of the derby


After edging to a hard fought 4-3 win at the Madejski, Manchester United have some tough selection dilemmas to face ahead of next weekend.

Next weekend is the big one in Manchester, with United travelling to the Etihad to take on Manchester City.

Last season the ground held mixed memories for United, they lost 1-0 in the decisive league game, but triumphed 3-2 in the FA Cup.

Here are five selection dilemmas ahead of them for next weekend:


Rafael was hauled off against Reading midway through a first half which saw United ship three goals. He didn't look happy about being singled out and there is a question as to whether he will get the nod next weekend. Ferguson dropped him for their most recent visit to the stadium, playing Phil Jones instead, but that loss could count in Rafael's favour. The third option is Chris Smalling who came on for him against Reading and stopped the flow of goals, so there is one big decision to make here next weekend.


Is Anders Lindegaard the number one now? Its hard to tell nowadays who is United's first choice goalkeeper, and a change can't be ruled out after the Dane conceded three this past weekend. De Gea will get to stake his claim in midweek against Cluj, and if he performs well there is every chance the Spaniard could then keep his place for Sunday's clash.

Who will replace Anderson?

It's a sight United fans are all so used to. Just as Anderson begins to get it together and look like a force he gets injured. The midfielder scored an excellent goal against Reading but left the game injured in the first half and is expected to miss next weekend. Tom Cleverley seems the obvious choice to replace him in the starting line-up, but Ferguson could go for the ageing Ryan Giggs who played in May at the Etihad, or Paul Scholes who is rested from his suspension.

How does Valencia fit in if fit?

United have just one fit winger at present, with Nani and Valencia injured, but the Ecuadorian could return for next weekend's clash. United played Rooney on the right-hand side of a front three against Reading with Young on the left, but its unclear how Valencia would fit in. One possibility is Rooney switches back to the left, and Young is dropped, while another would see both play but Rooney play a far deeper role in attacking midfield.

Evans axed for Vidic?

Nemanja Vidic is supposed to be due back in midweek, and if he comes through it then its hard to imagine the captain will be left out of the derby. If so, then Jonny Evans is likely to be the odd man out despite his recent good form. Evans has been impressive of late but the Ferdinand-Vidic axis is still Ferguson's first choice in the big games if available.

How would you line the side up next weekend?

image: © nasmac

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