In the buildup to this game, both the Manchester clubs won against their respective opponents. However, what was common was the ruthlessness both these sides shown last weekend.
In case of Manchester City who were facing a minnow Bournemouth side, they practically dismantled the Premier League newcomers even with a 2nd grade team without David Silva and Sergio Aguero in their squad.
Manchester United did the same to Everton thus, paving the road for a brilliant finale at the Old Trafford on Sunday.
Here is the strongest possible Manchester United lineup to face Manchester City …
- De Gea
A keeper who was destined to leave Manchester United in the summer, David de Gea has showed reasons of why Real Madrid poured so much interest in him. His form this Season has been a carbon copy of what he did last Season and with players like Anthony Martial and Bastian Schweinsteiger playing ahead of him, a bid for a League title seems likely for Manchester United.
2. Matteo Darmian
A Premier League Season has always been a roller coaster ride for fans, however in this particular case, Matteo Darmian has experienced both highs and lows in his first three months in England. From being humiliated in London when Arsenal put 3 past Manchester United within 3 minutes – to coming back a fortnight later with a much more composed performance against Everton, Matteo Darmian has got hold of his demons really well.
3. Chris Smalling
If there is one player in the Manchester United lineup who could be dubbed as their best ever so far this Season, the name of Chris Smalling inevitably comes to the mind. Shutting out the opposition, last ditch tackling and getting his team out of dangerous positions in several matches have become a trait of his game this Season.
4. Phil Jones
He could turn bad in big games, however looking at the pool of defenders which is available at the disposal of Louis Van Gaal, Phil Jones is the right figure to secure the Manchester United defense with Chris Smalling. Lack of pace could be an issue for the Englishman but with Chris Smalling on top of his game alongside him, Jones could afford to take some time before hitting form.
5. Marcos Rojo
When Marcos Rojo injured his leg in the UEFA Champions League, there was a mini crisis in Manchester United on how to fill the void that was left with his injury. Several options were tried in the coming weeks but none of them suited the team as better as the appointment of Rojo at left back.
He might not be too fast nor does he has the trickery that is associated with Shaw, but Marcos Rojo knows how to perform brilliantly even by playing within his limitations.
6. Morgan Schneiderlin
If Morgan Schneiderlin wants to make sure that he be counted out amongst the Premier League top defensive midfielders, it is matches like these where he needs to deliver. He did it against Liverpool but failed miserably against Arsenal. Thus, if he could be more consistent in his game, Schneiderlin could hold that position for Manchester United for years to come.
7. Bastian Schweinsteiger
If there is one word that could describe the career of Schweinsteiger at Manchester United so far, the word inconsistent comes to our mind. He was run riot by Santi Cazorla at the Emirates but was in top form once again against Everton a fortnight later. So, if Manchester United needs to stop Yaya Toure, Schweinsteiger has a crucial role to play on Sunday.
8. Juan Mata
Though he was subbed at half time against Everton – and wasn’t involved against CSKA Moscow in the midweek, Juan Mata still remains the best bet for Manchester United on Sunday. The current Manchester City defense isn’t keeping clean-sheets and Mata could exploit the fact with his long balls.
9. Ander Herrera
No matter how you say it, Herrera is quickly becoming the darling of the Old Trafford folklore off late. Catalyzed with the lack of form of Wayne Rooney with Memphis Depay also going bad, Herrera has shown Louis Van Gaal his real worth in the past few weeks.
10. Memphis Depay
Though this is a choice that is ambivalent to many, the performance level of Wayne Rooney should prompt Louis Van Gaal to give Depay another chance. He might not be in the good books of Louis Van Gaal – but so was Ander Herrera last Season, but Memphis Depay is a much better choice that Wayne Rooney for this particular fixture.
11. Anthony Martial
A player who has been the most expensive teenager in the history of football, Anthony Martial is doing everything he can to justify his price tag. He is expected to lead the line for the Red Devils in the derby.