Manchester City will welcome back Vincent Kompany in the heart of their defence against Manchester United.
The Premier League is still Manchester City’s to lose, at least that is what Jose Mourinho has been trying to convince people in the past few months, and looking at the current situation in the title race it is hard to disagree as well. City are third in the standings, six points behind Chelsea, but with three matches in hand. So hypothetically if they win their remaining games, they will win the league. But a lot of that hypothesis will be test in their next four league matches as they face Manchester United, Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool. Manchester City title credentials will surely be test in the next few games and the test starts with a visit to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby.
Manuel Pellegrini is still missing out on some of his key players ahead of this game. The former Real Madrid manager has confirmed in his pre-match presser that Matija Nastasic and Sergio Aguero are still out of contention. The Argentine international is expected to return at the end of this month, in time for the their visit to the Emirates to face Arsenal.
Micah Richards, whose last appearance was the 1-2 defeat against Wigan in the FA Cup, is also a long term concern with a muscle injury. There are still some concerns about the fitness of Edin Dzeko, who missed the 5-0 win over Fulham, due to illness. But he is expected to recover in time for this game and is likely to get the nod ahead of Alvaro Negredo, who has struggled with his form off late.
Pellegrini, who rested some of his key players in the win over Fulham, is expected to make four changes to the side that won against Fulham. Vincent Kompany, who will return to the team after serving his suspension, is expected to replace Joleon Lescott in the center of the defence alongside Martin Demichelis, who scored the fifth goal against Fulham. Gael Clichy is expected to return to left back in place of Aleksandr Kolarov.
There will be two changes in attack as Jesus Navas comes into the side in place of James Milner, while Edin Dzeko replaces Alvaro Negredo upfront. Manchester City are likely to come into this game with an attacking intent and that will reflect on Pellegrini’s team selection.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Hart (GK); Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Silva, Nasri; Dzeko