Premier League

Rodri and Pogba to start? How United and City could line up in Manchester derby

Both sides will be looking for a win to fully kick-start their season, and push back into the top four in the Premier League

 
9:30am on Friday 11th December 2020
By
Cameron Smith

Both Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have selection headaches over who to start in the first Manchester derby of the season, and the 183rd in history.

Solskjaer has a big decision over whether to start Paul Pogba in this weekend's Manchester derby following his agent Mino Raiola's claims that the Frenchman is 'unhappy' at the club, and is seeking an exit at the earliest opportunity.

Whereas Guardiola must decide if Sergio Aguero is fit enough to play from the start, or if he'll be reduced to a cameo off the bench.

Manchester United:

Following the disappointment of Tuesday's 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig, that ensured they finished third in their Champions League group, Solskjaer will need to galvanise his squad, and quickly.

They currently sit one point and one place above their city rivals, having played the same number of games, despite many claiming they've had a poor start to the season.

Both Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial missed the trip to Leipzig and remain doubts for this game.

This means that a front two of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood may well be used again by Solskjaer, and given City's quality, a back-five may is likely to be used as well.

Bruno Fernandes has been by far United's most influential player this season, with seven goals and four assists in 10 Premier League games, and he'll start just behind the aforementioned front two.

Fred will return after suspension ruled him out in midweek, and alongside him will be the seemingly indispensable Scott McTominay.

The back-five will stay unchanged from Tuesday night's defeat with David de Gea once again preferred to Dean Henderson in net.

Manchester United vs Manchester City - Football tactics and formations

Manchester City:

Unlike United, Manchester City sailed through their Champions League group unbeaten and will be looking to convert this European form into domestic success.

They've already lost the same number of league games as they did in the whole 2017/18 campaign, two, and look extremely vulnerable defensively.

Both Eric Garcia and Ilkay Gundogan are doubts for the game having been forced off in the midweek win against Marseille, and Guardiola has admitted that it's very unlikely that Aguero will be given a spot from the off on Saturday.

Ederson, Ruben Dias and Rodri weren't involved at all in the Champions League, so they will all come straight back into the starting XI against United.

Ferran Torres started as a false nine against Marseille with Gabriel Jesus on the bench, but the Brazilian started against Fulham last time out in the league and is expected to return this weekend.

Man City vs Man Utd - Football tactics and formations

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