The Manchester derby is back, and it features a pair of top-four teams once again, both looking to solidify a spot in the Champions League when United and City square off from Old Trafford at 11am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Louis van Gaal will look to end a run of four straight defeats for the Red Devils against their hated rivals, and has gone with the hot hands. Wayne Rooney continues in a striker’s role, while the in-form Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini both start. Robin van Persie has returned to training but could not make the squad, while Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao both sit on the bench.
Manchester United is thin at the back, as Chris Smalling makes the starting lineup despite illness, with Phil Jones alongside him in central defense and Marcos Rojo on the bench. Luke Shaw is injured and misses out while Jonny Evans is suspended.
On the other end, Vincent Kompany proved he is fit despite a hamstring injury and starts at the back for the visiting Manchester City. Stevan Jovetic is out, and Edin Dzeko remains the only strike option on the bench with Wilfried Bony also out injured. Samir Nasri starts on the bench with Jesus Navas and David Silva on the wings.
The teams are separated by just a single point in the table, and should either side win they would pull at least eight points clear of Southampton in fifth. There is little for either side to lose here, and thus it should be an entertaining affair at Old Trafford.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Blind, Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, Mata, Young, Rooney.
Bench: Valdes, Rafael, Rojo, McNair, Januzaj, Di Maria, Falcao.
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, Milner, Silva, Aguero.
Bench: Caballero, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernando, Nasri, Lampard, Dzeko.