Manchester United welcome neighbours Manchester City to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon in what is the most anticipated match of the new Premier League season so far.
Not only is it a local derby between two sides who both have serious title aspirations, but it will also renew the heated rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
Plenty of stars will be on show, but we’ve created an amazing XI of players who are set to play no part at the Theatre of Dreams this weekend.
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The line-up features big names from both sides who are definitely or likely to be absent – with reasons varying from suspension to ostracism. Let’s take a look at the team…
GK – Sergio Romero
Sergio Romero, who was never going to start ahead of David de Gea, is an ever-present in Man United’s matchday squads, however, the 29-year-old ‘keeper may not be involved in the derby.
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Mourinho has confirmed that Argentina’s number one, along with Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo, won’t return to United’s training ground until Friday – leaving very little time for recovery or preparation for the visit of City 24 hours later.
RB – Matteo Darmian
Matteo Darmian made 39 appearances last season after joining the Red Devils from Torino, but he has suffered since Mourinho took over and almost been frozen out.
This morning, Italian media outlet Tuttosport reported that the versatile full-back’s relationship with the “Special One” is at a “total breakdown”.
The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to Juventus for months, and following Valencia’s impressive displays at right-back, Tuttosport make it clear that Darmian has no future at United.
CB – Vincent Kompany
Man City captain Vincent Kompany has been out since May and the surgery he underwent on his thigh forced the Belgian to miss Euro 2016 as well as the start of the new season.
The 30-year-old has been plagued by injury issues over the past 18 months and Guardiola has stated that he will not select Kompany until he is satisfied the defender no longer runs the risk of another setback.
LB – Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw deservedly regained his England place after a fantastic start to the season, but he was forced to withdraw from the squad before the Three Lions’ 1-0 win in Slovakia, claiming he was not "feeling right”.
The 21-year-old is trying to prove his fitness and Sam Allardyce said he expected Shaw to be fit for the derby, but also revealed that the left-back had felt some pain in his calf of the leg he horrifically broke last year.
CM – Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure has destroyed Man United in the past but the midfield powerhouse hasn’t even made the City bench in the league so far this term.
According to his agent, Pep “humiliated” the Ivory Coast international by omitting him from his Champions League squad and there are serious questions as to whether Toure can adapt to the Spaniard’s style of play.
Per The Sun, Guardiola has confirmed that the 33-year-old outcast will see out his contract at the Etihad, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be involved on Saturday.
CM – Bastian Schweinsteiger
After forcing him to train with the reserves upon taking charge of United, Mourinho surprised everyone by naming Bastian Schweinsteiger in his Premier League squad.
That said, as the German World Cup winner bowed out from international football, he was left out of his club’s Europa League squad, suggesting the 32-year-old midfielder’s exile at Old Trafford is set to continue.
CM – Ilkay Gundogan
Upon moving to Man City from Borussia Dortmund this summer, Schweinsteiger’s former Germany teammate Ilkay Gundogan was expected to be out until late September while he recovered from a dislocated knee.
The intelligent 25-year-old hasn’t played a single minute of football this season, and even though he was training before the break, it’s more than likely that Saturday’s derby could come too soon for him.
RW – Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard won the FA Cup for United with a stunning goal at Wembley and he produced something similar against Leicester City in the Community Shield win last month, however, he was injured in that match and hasn’t played since.
The winger, who was born and raised near Manchester, has been back in full training for two weeks but it would be unfair for Mourinho to throw Lingard back into the side for such a showpiece occasion with him lacking match sharpness.
LW – Leroy Sane
Like Gundogan, ex-Schalke winger Leroy Sane joined City from the Bundesliga but the talented 20-year-old is also yet to play for the club after pulling his hamstring before the season started.
The youngster’s £42 million transfer fee is hefty, but he is extremely skilful and, having taken part in light training before the international break, if fans aren’t excited about seeing him in action, they should be.
CAM – Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan limped out of Armenia’s friendly against the Czech Republic with a thigh problem and, despite not starting a competitive match for United yet, the 27-year-old will be a huge loss for Mourinho’s men.
The attacking midfielder showed the first signs of what he can do in his 30-minute cameo at Hull, but the Armenian FA reported that initial tests on Mkhitaryan’s injury before he returned to Manchester for treatment were “not encouraging”.
ST – Sergio Aguero
Labelled by Paul Scholes as one of only three world-class players in English football, Sergio Aguero will miss the derby through suspension and could be a massive loss for Guardiola’s side.
City’s main man picked up a three-match ban after his elbow on Winston Reid was deemed to have been deliberate. The Argentine missed his country’s World Cup qualifiers due to a calf injury, but the lethal 28-year-old has scored six goals in just four games for City this campaign.
Young City striker Kelechi Iheanacho recently scored a fabulous goal for Nigeria, but only United skipper Wayne Rooney has scored more Premier League goals in the Manchester derby than Aguero.
Who will win the Manchester derby? United or City? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!