With only hours to go before the teams walk out onto the pitch at the Etihad stadium, we preview the Manchester City vs Manchester united team news, probable line-ups, stats and analysis.
Manchester City Team News:
Following an abject display in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday evening that saw David Silva limping off after only five minutes and Yaya Toure following not long after, the prospects are not looking good for City being able to field a full strength squad
City Manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed Silva would be out for up to three weeks with a twisted knee during his press conference yesterday. Yaya Toure should be fit enough to start the match, although there are still concerns about the severity and long-term effects of the groin problem that saw him limp off on Wednesday.
May 25, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri (8) dribbles against Chelsea during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Manchester City won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Samir Nasri was used as a substitute against Newcastle on his return from a lengthy lay-off, although having replaced Silva as a substitute, Nasri was substituted himself in the second half, though it’s believed that was purely to get Sergio Aguero on the pitch and Nasri has not suffered any further problems and should be available for selection come Sunday.
Frank Lampard is the only main figure to be confirmed as missing for the game as he has still not shaken off the thigh strain picked up a couple of weeks ago.
Provisional Squad: Provisional squad: Hart, Caballero, Zabaleta, Sagna, Kompany, Demichelis, Mangala, Boyata, Clichy, Kolarov, Milner, Navas, Nasri, Toure, Fernando, Fernandinho, Aguero, Jovetic, Dzeko.
Manchester United Team News:
Captain Wayne Rooney is now available once more to Louis van Gaal as the forward has now served his three match suspension in full and is likely to head the line for United.
Aug 4, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney (10) reacts in the second half of a game against Liverpool at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
New summer signing Radamel Falcao is expected to be missing with a leg injury along with Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair. Youngster Jesse Lingard has still not recovered from the knee injury that saw him limp off on his debut, but Antonio Valencia should be available and may feature on Sunday.
Provisional squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Amos, Rafael, Shaw, Rojo, Blackett, Thorpe, Smalling, Pereira, Blind, Fletcher, Valencia, Fellaini, Anderson, Carrick, Young, Herrera, Mata, Januzaj, Di Maria, Rooney, Van Persie, W Keane.
I’m expecting both teams to line up in a ‘dynamic’ 4-4-2 formation. I think Louis van Gaal will do the same as he did against Chelsea last week and start Angel di Maria on the right, rather than his favoured left side. This gives Di Maria the chance to attack Gael Clichy, rather than get double-teamed by James Milner and Pablo Zabaleta were he to play on Manchester United’s left wing.
That does give Zabaleta and Milner the opportunity to attack what may well be a weak United left wing and I would expect Pellegrini to have drummed that fact into the two City wide men. Luke Shaw is by no means the finished article and will not have played in such an intense arena as the Etihad during a derby match. Opportunities will be available.
May 23, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta (5) crosses the ball as Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun (30) defends at Busch Stadium. Manchester City defeated Chelsea 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
The key for City will be how to keep Marouane Fellaini subdued. In the matches against West Brom and Chelsea, the tall and powerful Belgian really made the difference and could be a serious threat going forward for United. It will be up to Zabaleta and Milner to keep him occupied in a defensive role by attacking Shaw and Rojo, rather than see him as a third striker.
You have to think that Dzeko will start up front for the Sky-Blues, although for me he’s way too static and leaves Sergio Aguero to do all the work and link up with the midfield. If City can get balls in behind Smalling and Rojo, then great, but I think Jovetic would be the better option and offer more too.
Key match-ups: Rooney vs Demichelis, Zabaleta vs Shaw, Di Maria vs Clichy and Aguero vs Rojo
- Man City are undefeated in 21 of their last 23 home matches in the Premier League.
- Man City have seen over 2.5 goals in 7 of their last 8 matches against Man Utd in all competitions.
- Man City have scored at least 2 goals in 7 of their last 8 matches against Man Utd in all competitions.
- Man City have won their last 3 matches against Man Utd in all competitions.
- Man Utd have failed to win their last 6 away matches in the Premier League.
(Data courtesy of Whoscored.com )
Predicted Final Score:
Having not won in three games already, Manchester City have to stand up and be counted. Losing the derby is not an option, regardless of the fact it’s against United, City have to win this to keep in touch with Chelsea and to ensure that United don’t overtake City in the Premier League table.
Louis van Gaal appears to be finally getting the message through to his players and key summer signings Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Marco Rojo look as though they could make a difference.
It will be fast, fierce and I hope highly entertaining. We shall see come 3:30pm on Sunday…