Man United take on Manchester City in the Premier League this coming weekend and this game will be a major litmus test for Erik ten Hag’s side.
The last time these two teams met, City won by a margin of 6-3 and that was a major low point for Manchester United. However, since that humiliation, Ten Hag’s men have come a long way and right now, they are one of the stronger sides in England.
Since the loss in the first Manchester derby of the campaign, Man United have lost just only one league game and that was way back in November against Aston Villa. Apart from this one blemish, United have been in peak form and after a long time, the Red Devils fans are once again starting to believe.
The home side are currently fourth on the Premier League table and they are just four points behind Manchester City. City have played one game less than their local rivals but if United can beat them on Saturday then they will move even closer to the top of the table.
Despite their great form, Man United go into this game as the underdogs so realistically even a draw will be a great result for the Old Trafford outfit and they will still remain very much in the mix. After this they take on Palace and then Arsenal so a win in these two ties will help even things out.
Man United team news and injuries:
Dalot picked up a knock against Charlton on Tuesday night but according to his manager, the injury is not serious and he was taken off only as a precaution.
Dalot’s been the first-choice right-back under Ten Hag so if he is fully fit then he will most certainly start against City on Saturday.
Harry Maguire played in the EFL Cup draw in midweek but Raphael Varane will promptly come back into the first XI to partner Lisandro Martinez.
Casemiro and Eriksen came off the bench on Tuesday night but both of them will be instant picks for the derby. There are whispers that Ten Hag could use Fred alongside Casemiro put to add more pace in the middle of the pitch.
However, without Christian Eriksen, Man United will miss out on a lot of creativity.
Van de Beek has picked up a nasty knee injury so he is ruled out and even Jadon Sancho is a long-term absentee. Apart from these two players and the knock to Dalot, every other player is fully fit so Erik Ten Hag has no room for error.
Rashford is in the form of his life right now so he’s an immediate selection but the Man United manager will have to choose between Garnacho and Antony.
Garnacho has been in great form but Antony is yet to settle down in England. Antony did score against Charlton but he’s not had the desired impact so there’s a slight possibility that the manager might keep him on the bench and rely on the youngster down the left wing.
However, this would mean Rashford will have to play on the right wing and the England international is not particularly comfortable playing on that side of the pitch.
Erik ten Hag has announced in his press conference that he will be without Dalot while Anthony Martial is a major doubt for Saturday’s encounter due to a leg issue.
The manager told the press: “I think Diogo Dalot is not available and Anthony Martial, he trained this morning so we have to wait to see how he recovers from this training and if he’s available. We will make the decision tomorrow.
“It is a small thing in his leg [with Martial] and, if he is not available for tomorrow, it will be Wednesday [at Crystal Palace].”
Man United are already thin in the centre-forward’s role and with Martial missing out it should be Rashford who is going to lead the line with Garnacho playing on the left wing.
Man United predicted line up vs Man City:
Predicted Starting XI(4-2-3-1): De Gea; Martinez, Varane, Luke Shaw, Dalot/Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Eriksen/Fred; Fernandes, Antony, Garnacho; Rashford.