Harry Maguire should return while Anthony Martial will come in for Odion Ighalo when Manchester United face Manchester City on Sunday.
Manchester United will be eager to continue their push for the Champions League places when they play hosts to neighbours Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday evening. And, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sweating over the fitness of three regulars ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James missed the FA Cup clash with Derby County earlier this week due to minor injury troubles. The trio are facing a race against time to make themselves available against Manchester City.
During his pre-match press conference, which happened in the aftermath of the 3-0 win over Derby, Solskjaer commented on Maguire, Wan-Bissaka and James. The Manchester United boss said, “Well, he [Maguire] is touch and go because he rolled his ankle but, hopefully, he’ll recover quickly.”
“I wasn’t going to rest him today, I didn’t give him a day off birthday-wise but I hope he’ll be fit. I hope so, yes [that Maguire, Wan-Bissaka and James are available], but none of them have been training yet since the last game, so we’ve got to look at them on Saturday probably because tomorrow is a recovery day.”
Maguire has previously showed incredible determination to return from injuries and should be fit enough to start at the heart of the Manchester United’s defence against Manchester City. Maguire’s return would conversely means that Eric Bailly drops out, with Victor Lindelof being the English international’s central defensive partner.
Wan-Bissaka, too, should recover sufficiently to return as the right-back, with Diogo Dalot making way. On the opposite flank, there is no looking past Luke Shaw, who has been in fine form lately. The defence will provide cover to David de Gea, who ought to return in the Manchester United goal at the expense of Sergio Romero.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer should retain the 4-3-1-2 formation that he used against Everton last week despite an unfavourable result in the game, so as to create overloads in the middle of the park. Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay should, therefore, all start against Manchester City.
Bruno Fernandes will be at the tip of the four-man midfield, playing in a free role and looking to be a creative force in the final third. As for the strike partnership, Anthony Martial is a certainty due to his importance to the team as well as his strong form.
Odion Ighalo will fancy his chances of partnering Martial upfront after a strong showing in the FA Cup against Derby. However, Ighalo is likely to make way for Mason Greenwood, who will complete the Manchester United strike partnership when they take on Manchester City.
Manchester United Predicted XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Matic, Fred; Fernandes; Greenwood, Martial