Manchester United host the Premier League leading and hated Manchester City this weekend at Old Trafford in what will be a match of major implications.
Manchester City will arrive at Old Trafford fresh off their 2-1 win against Sevilla in Champions League play, whereas United earned a point with their draw against CSKA Moscow during the midweek.
Goalkeeper- David de Gea
De Gea made a series of outstanding stops to help United salvage the draw against Moscow during their fixture. He is certainly one of the first names on Louis van Gaal’s team sheet, and his sure hands will be counted upon against the leaders. He’ll need the help of his back four to keep City out of the back of his net.
Right Back- Matteo Darmian
Darmian did not feature during the Champions League match, however, he should be restored back to the starting 11 in this important fixture. Antonio Valencia was the one who started and played decent, assisting Martial on his game-tying goal. Darmian will have to combat with the pace of Raheem Sterling.
Central Defender- Chris Smalling
Just about a year ago, it was Smalling who had a horrendous game against City, where he was sent off in the first derby. Now Smalling is being tipped to be the next full-time captain for the Red Devils, in what has been a total 180 degree turn around.
Central Defender- Phil Jones
Jones did not have the best of nights in central defence during the mid-week match-up, but he should be paired once again with Smalling so that the two can form an understanding against the elite of the Premier League.
A few years ago it was Sir Alex Ferguson singing the praises of Jones, however, injuries have stalled his progress and Smalling has leaped over him to become the next big thing. United will need these two clicking in order to keep the City forwards out of the back of the net.
Left Back- Marcos Rojo
Only lasting until the 64th minute against Moscow, he was another defender that had a poor match-up against Moscow. Nonetheless, he is coming off an excellent game last weekend at Goodison Park, so van Gaal may restore faith in the Argentine. Daley Blind would be another formidable option here as well.
Central Midfielder- Morgan Schneiderlin
The Frenchman is quietly putting together a decent campaign for his new squad and should be relied upon once again. His passing helped United in the equalizing of Martial’s goal during the midweek match and was also considered player of the match.
Central Midfielder- Michael Carrick
The vice-captain was rested midweek, but will surely be needed in this all important clash with the noisy neighbors. His calming influence will be relied upon, as he has featured in many derbies in past years. There is a chance that we may see Bastian Schweinsteiger see out the match in the later stages as well.
Right Midfielder- Juan Mata
The crafty Spaniard was another key player that was rested during the Moscow clash will most likely return to the starting 11. United couldn’t help but miss his influence, as he has been known to score or produce a key assist when needed. One of the most consistent performers this season will be pulling the strings as usual.
Attacking Midfielder- Ander Herrera
Herrera, who has not been used for much of the season, awoke last weekend and put in an excellent display against Everton. Although his play dipped a bit against Moscow, he did provide the pass to Valencia which set-up Martial’s header. If he can put in another strong performance on Sunday, surely he will be an automatic selection for the biggest matches.
Left Midfielder- Anthony Martial
It had looked like he was going to be the villain with his hand ball, which helped secure a point for Moscow, but the young Frenchman went on to redeem himself and score his first Champions League goal for the club.
Striker- Wayne Rooney
The captain has famously terrorized City over the years and will look to pick his form back up on Sunday. United will look to the veteran to hopefully display some brilliance, as he has done in the past in these kind of fixtures.
Via – Lineup Builder