As Manchester United unceremoniously eliminated themselves for Champions League play, their attention can now be focused on the Premier League race. What better way to start the push for a league title than the 183rd Manchester Derby? On Saturday, United host cross-town rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford for the first derby of the season.
City will be rested for Saturday’s kickoff having already secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, City rested numerous players for their Wednesday Champions League meeting with Marseille, and are a point behind United in the league table.
United have fared fairly well in the Manchester Derby, having won exactly half of the 46 meetings between the sides in the Premier League, with City winning 15 and there being eight draws. Including the double against City last season. Overall, from 182 meetings with City in all competitions, United have won 76, drawn 52 and lost 54.
Manchester United Team News
Not having featured in Germany, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani are expected to see some playing time on Saturday. Luke Shaw returned to the starting line-up during the loss to Leipzig, but it remains to be seen whether two matches in a week will be too much for the defender, following a recent injury. Fred is also in contention to play after he missed Tuesday match through suspension.
City Manager Pep Guardiola confirmed that Sergio Agüero will not start for his side in the Manchester derby this weekend. Agüero finally recovered from his knee injury and played for 25 minutes against Marseille and managed to score a goal within ten minutes of walking onto the pitch. Guardiola doesn’t want to rush Agüero’s comeback and risk another injury.
Potential United Starting XI
The biggest question heading into Saturday’s match is to start Paul Pogba or not. Pogba has now scored in back-to-back games but also drew more negative attention to the club this week with his agent’s comments over his future.
As much as people would like to see Dean Henderson in net, expect David De Gea to get the call. Wan-Bissaka is no doubt chomping at the bit to contain City’s Raheem Sterling, who is still searching for his first goal against Manchester United in what would be his 17th attempt. Expect him to start along with Maguire, Telles and Lindelof.
As usual, the everchanging midfield lineup could go several different ways. It all depends on Pogba. If he starts, Fernandes, Fred, Pogba and McTominay/Mata could be the lineup on Saturday with Donny Van de Beek coming in the second half….. or possibly starting if Pogba doesn’t.
Upfront could be Rashford and either Greenwood or Martial with Cavani ready to come in second half.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Mata, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood