Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao is closing in on a return to full fitness ahead of this weekend's Manchester derby, according to the Daily Star.
The Colombian hit-man missed the Red Devils' last fixture against Premier League table-toppers Chelsea because of an ankle problem, but could be in line to start at the Etihad on Sunday.
In fact, the same report has suggested that the forward, who is on loan at Old Trafford from French outfit Monaco, has made himself available for selection for the showdown.
And, if Falcao is handed a starting role, then he could partner Dutchman Robin van Persie in attack. Van Persie will head into the game full of confidence after his late strike against Chelsea, and he will be determined to find his best form over the coming weeks and months.
United will also be boosted by the return of captain Wayne Rooney, who looks set to start after serving the last game of his three match suspension. The England international may well take up the No.10 role, with Van Gaal looking to start an extremely attack-minded side against the Premier League champions.
- United will beat City, providing they attack
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- Pellegrini needs derby day success to keep job
Rooney, then, could replace Spaniard Juan Mata, who has struggled to take his opportunity in the side of late. Teenager Adnan Januzaj could also drop to the bench, with United expected to start Argentine star Angel di Maria, Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind in the middle of the park.
In need of points
With United already way off the pace in the Premier League table, they will be determined to gain a positive result at the Etihad. City, on the other hand, are in need of victory themselves after a disappointing run of results.
Manuel Pellegrini's side were dumped out of the Capital One Cup this past week, as they went down by two goals to nil against Newcastle United, and they will be looking to bounce back in style against their local rivals.
The City back-four, though, will have to be at their best as they look to keep the likes of Falcao, Van Persie and Co. at bay.