Manchester United host Manchester City in an intriguing Premier League clash tonight (Monday), with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side looking to extend the gap at the top of the table to 18-points.
And, the Red Devils will be looking for revenge after last season’s 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford, with David De Gea almost certain to get his shot at redemption between the sticks.
Roberto Mancini knows the title is slipping away, but would love his City side to make a statement against their red rivals. Joe Hart will be tasked with trying to keep the hosts at bay.
In defence, United fans can expect the strongest line-up possible, with FA Cup and European heartache leaving the Premier League as their only trophy chance.
Rafael has been impressive at right back and is set to return from injury, whilst Patrice Evra has been back to his best on the opposite flank. At the heart of defence, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic will hope to get the nod.
For the Citizens, Pablo Zabaleta is a contender for the club’s player of the year award, whilst Aleksandar Kolarov would provide an attacking edge on the left. Vincent Kompany is showing signs of improvement at centre back, with Matija Nastasic his likely partner ahead of Joleon Lescott.
In midfield, Manchester United have plenty of options, with Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley likely to sit deep if Ferguson opts for a 4-2-3-1 formation. Luis Nani is an option on the right, with Wayne Rooney in the centre and Danny Welbeck on the left.
Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure are the sitting options for Manchester City, with James Milner operating on the right flank, David Silva on the left and Carlos Tevez just behind the striker.
Sergio Aguero will be relied upon to score the goals for the visitors, whilst Robin Van Persie – who scored the winner at the Etihad Stadium – will be the main man for United.
Manchester United predicted line-up v Manchester City:
David De Gea; Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra; Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick; Luis Nani, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck; Robin Van Persie.
Manchester City predicted line-up v Manchester United:
Joe Hart; Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Aleksandar Kolarov; Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry; James Milner, Carlos Tevez, David Silva; Sergio Aguero.