This weekend’s Premier League action concludes on Sunday with the huge match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford.
Pep Guardiola’s side have an eight point lead over us at the top of the table going into the weekend and the Spanish manager knows avoiding defeat would be a huge step towards winning the 2017-18 title.
Both sides have a few absentees confirmed, as follows:
The French superstar starts the first of a three-match ban following his stamp on Hector Bellerin in the 3-1 win at Arsenal last weekend. His energy could be sorely missed in front of United’s defence as well as his ability to bring the ball forward to start attacks, and his involvement in the final third; often involved in the goals.
Jose Mourinho confirmed earlier in the week that Eric Bailly will miss this game through injury. The centre-back has been out since the international break in mid-November. In his place we’re likely to see Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling as part of a back three. Phil Jones is available again but we don’t know if he’s ready to play a full 90 minutes. Marcos Rojo could come in if not, should Jose Mourinho decide to go with a back three.
The experienced midfielder has been sick for a while now and could have made the matchday squad otherwise due to the suspension of Paul Pogba. With Ander Herrera expected to partner Nemanja Matic in centre midfield, youngster Scott McTominay could be named among the substitutes.
Manchester City’s £47 million centre-back remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. The good news for Pep Guardiola’s side is that Vincent Kompany is fit to partner Nicolas Otamendi in central defence.
The most expensive left-back in the world has been out for most of the season with a knee injury and may not return before May. In place of Benjamin Mendy, Guardiola has switched between Fabian Delph and Danilo at left-back. The manager also claims he cannot start both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus together as a result of this injury.
Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the trio of Nemanja Matic, Phil Jones and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all available for Sunday’s Manchester derby, but that we will have to wait until tomorrow to see if Marouane Fellaini is fit to feature.
It came as no surprise to hear Guardiola confirm at his press conference today that David Silva is fit to face us. Though he did claim that Vincent Kompany is a doubt.