Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia and Adnan Januzaj are expected to return to the starting line-up as Manchester United host Manchester City tonight.
Manchester United have bounced back well from the debacle against Liverpool with two wonderful wins in their last two matches. The first of which was of course the famous come-back against Olympiakos in the Champions League, which was followed by the fairly comfortable win over West Ham United in their last match. David Moyes will hope that his side can continue this momentum against Manchester City in the highly anticipated derby tonight.
David Moyes is facing a lot of injury concerns at the moment, especially in his defence, and he was forced to field Michael Carrick as a center back against West Ham. But credit to Manchester United, who managed to keep a clean sheet in the game and looked fairly comfortable with what the Hammers threw at them. David Moyes insisted that despite the injuries he still has a lot of options at the back with both Carrick and Fellaini capable of filling in, along with Patrice Evra if required.
“Michael did great at centre-half. He’s played there before so it wasn’t a problem. We even considered putting Marouane Fellaini back there as well, so I think we’ve got people who can do that if we have to.
“We gave Pat a rest but, if we have to, I think we can put him there as well and he would cope manfully. It was great that the squad mucked in and that’s the way it should be, when you are short in areas and it’s all hands to the pumps. We were short on Saturday and Michael certainly played really well.” – The Manchester United manager said.
Robin van Persie is still out injured and there is still no official update as to when the Dutch international will return. Nemanja Vidic is also unavailable for selection as he serves his suspension after seeing a red card against Liverpool. Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are still struggling with their fitness and they will undergo late fitness tests ahead of this game, although the duo will not make it to the starting line-up.
There are also doubts about the fitness of Rio Ferdinand, who was suffering from a back injury. But the England international is likely to recover in time for this game and start in the center of the defence alongside Phil Jones. Antonio Valencia, who was rested in the match against West Ham, is also expected to return to the line-up for this game.
David Moyes will make four changes to the side that he fielded against West Ham. Rio Ferdinand will replace Darren Fletcher, which means Michael Carrick will move back to the midfield and Ferdinand starts at the heart of the defence. Valencia will replace Ashley Young on the right wing, while Shinji Kagawa will drop down to the bench with Adnan Januzaj taking his place on the left. Patrice Evra, who was an unused substitute in the last match, will replace Alexander Buttner at left back.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): De Gea (GK); Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra; Carrick, Fellaini; Valencia, Mata, Januzaj; Rooney