The reds face neighbours Manchester City tomorrow night in a derby game in which restoring some pride back to Old Trafford is very much the essence for United. Moyes’s side will be looking for pay back after the 4-1 battering across the city earlier in the season and go into the game after back to back wins following the impressive performance in East London on Saturday.
The players defiantly missing for tomorrow’s derby are Jonny Evans with a calf injury, Chris Smalling due to a hamstring injury and Robin Van persie due to his long term knee injury. Club captain Nemanja Vidic will also be unavailable again due to the red card he received in the Liverpool game. With this all taken into consideration, this is how David Moyes may set his team up to take to the field tomorrow:
David De Gea must be the first name on the team sheet at the moment. After that mistake against Sunderland in the Capital One Cup semi-final his form has been outstanding. He goes into the game with two back to back clean sheets.
The little Brazilian Rafael will keep his place at right back after a solid performance in the capital on Saturday and due to United lacking any other real options. Also, expect Phil Jones to retain his place at centre back with Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand slotting back into the side after being rested against West Ham on Sunday. Both Carrick and Alexander Buttner did admirable jobs on the weekend, but in no disrespect to West ham, Manchester City are a different ball game.
Marouane Fellaini put in his best display yet in a red shirt against the hammers and as a result should keep his place in United’s starting eleven. Michael Carrick is likely to come back into his favoured position after helping aid United’s back line on Saturday. Moyes will then more than likely be looking for both pace and work rate on the flanks in order to help out United’s full backs. This should see a return to the side for Antonio Valencia after missing out in the capital with an eye injury, and Danny Welbeck could more than likely get the nod on the left hand side after being used only as a late substitute on Saturday. Then of course we have United’s record signing Juan Mata. He linked up expertly with Wayne Rooney on Saturday when playing in the hole behind the Englishman and you can more than likely expect a similar role for him tomorrow night.
Due to City’s strength in midfield, Wayne Rooney may well have to play up the top on his own tomorrow night. Despite this however, Juan Mata may be given the freedom to roam in behind him tomorrow and if Danny Welbeck starts he may often look to get alongside Rooney whenever the chance presents itself. Also, it would be no surprise if Welbeck and Rooney swapped roles throughout the evening.
Predicted Starting XI
Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra;
Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Welbeck;
Who do you think with be in United’s starting XI for tomorrow’s derby? Comment in the section below.