Manchester City host Manchester United in what will be Louis van Gaal’s first taste of a derby since he arrived in England. The Dutchman will be pleased with how his club have fought back to secure points against West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea in recent times and a draw at the Etihad Stadium will not be a bad result for United.
That said, City are enduring a poor run at the moment and Manuel Pellegrini’s are side without a win in three games having lost to West Ham United and Newcastle United and drawn with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. So what better time to get back to winning ways than against their fiercest rivals?
City injury concerns: Yaya Toure has a knock but has a good chance of recovering in time.
City absences: David Silva has been ruled out of the derby with a knee injury with reports suggesting he could miss the next three weeks with the problem.
United injury concerns: Ashley Young has a knock but has a 75 per cent chance of making it while Phil Jones should overcome the shin injury that ruled him out of United’s last match.
United absences: Paddy McNair remains out with a hamstring injury while fellow defender Jonny Evans has an ankle injury and Jesse Lingard is a long-term absentee. Radamel Falcao has been ruled out of the encounter with the knock he previously received in training.
Predicted starting line-ups:
Manchester City – Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Toure, Fernando, Milner, Dzeko, Aguero
Manchester United – De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Blind, Herrera, Di Maria, Rooney, van Persie