Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Predicted Line-Up: Manchester City vs Manchester United

Over a week after a frustrating draw against Watford at Old Trafford, Manchester United are set to face Manchester City in the local derby this Sunday.

After collecting another drab point in the top four challenge, Ralf Rangnick will know that this game is one that his team have to win; however, with Man City themselves locking horns with Liverpool in the title race, Pep Guardiola will know the importance of three points for his own side this weekend.

Let’s take a look at how United will line up at the Etihad Stadium, likely in a 4-3-3 formation…

Goalkeeper and Defence:

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

If you were to create a combined eleven of both red and blue players, De Gea would be one of the only United players you could make a case for. With 98 saves registered in the league this season, the Spaniard has been busy in most games, and the shot-stopper will need to be alert this weekend against a team with 64 league goals this campaign.

Right-Back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka

After a solid showing at Leeds, a lively substitute appearance in Madrid and an okay display against Watford, it should be expected that Rangnick will continue to stick with Wan-Bissaka in the team on Sunday. Renowned for good displays against Raheem Sterling, fans know all about Wan-Bissaka’s defensive quality, and the 24-year-old will come in handY in a game where United will be defending a lot.

Centre-Back: Raphaël Varane

Varane is part of an exclusive group of players where you cannot dispute his selection in the team. The Frenchman’s composure and reading of the game will be a crucial asset to the side this weekend in a match where the Reds will have to be patient in defending across the ninety minutes.

Embed from Getty Images

Centre-Back: Harry Maguire

It was a pleasant surprise to many fans when Maguire was dropped last weekend. Even though Lindelöf did nothing wrong against Watford, politics tend to play a part in what is nowadays a corporate business, and an £80m club captain simply cannot go two weeks without starting- it’s bad for brand identity. 

Left-Back: Luke Shaw

Fans will hope to see Shaw put in another Shawberto Carlos showing this weekend in a fixture that he typically does well in. The Englishman’s defensive qualities will be important if United are to do well on Sunday afternoon, and with Rangnick rather fond of rotating his full-backs, it would come as no surprise if Shaw started the game.


Holding Midfield: Scott McTominay

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer often praised McTominay for his passion and energy, and despite not having a whole host of footballing ability, the Scotsman needs to show that passion and energy in the local derby at weekend. The game will likely be a frustrating one at times, so the academy graduate will need to stay focused and disciplined against a tricky City midfield. Like Shaw, McTominay has fond memories in the derby.

Embed from Getty Images

Central Midfield: Fred

Similar to McTominay, fans know that Fred is limited in regard to what he can offer a team, but with that being said, his tenacity and grit will surely be useful at the Etihad if he is selected. With 10.5 successful defensive actions per ninety in this season, he will hope to put in a solid box-to-box showing for his side in the Manchester derby.

Central Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

Fernandes was culpable for missing some big chances last weekend in a game where his team attacked. This weekend, the game will definitely be a different one for the Portuguese, with his team likely going to be parked behind the ball for a lot of the game. The best form of attack will be on the counter for Rangnick’s team, so Fernandes will be an asset should United get opportunities to break.


Left-Wing: Jadon Sancho

Having worked with Guardiola very briefly during his stint at Man City, Sancho will hope to play well at the Etihad and prove a point to his former boss. The 21-year-old can be differentiated from many of United’s wingers through his ability to play a good pass, and an instinctive killer-ball could prove vital to United’s scoring hopes against a solid City defence.

Embed from Getty Images

Right Wing: Anthony Elanga 

One of the few bright sparks for fans to watch of late, Elanga is a breath of fresh air in comparison to Marcus Rashford. With his pace, directness and power, the 19-year-old will be a threat against Joao Cancelo if he is selected. It will require a different sort of performance from the Swede, though, as he will be instructed to track back and defend for large periods of the game.

Striker: Cristiano Ronaldo

It would actually make some tactical sense to not play Ronaldo in this game, surprisingly; in a game where United won’t create many chances and will need to rely on breakaway football, the many qualities of the 37-year-old may be null and void. With that being said, many would call it ludicrous to not play someone as well-paid as Ronaldo in a derby game. Plus, the social media team will be having a field day should he get on the scoresheet.

Possible involvement

Embed from Getty Images

Should Ronaldo be dropped and Fernandes push forward into a false-nine position, it would make sense to include Paul Pogba in the midfield trio alongside McTominay and Fred. The Frenchman has great physical assets that come in handy against any team, as well as that killer-pass on the breakaway that could prove key to United’s hopes.

If Rangnick decides to opt for a back-five, the selection of Lindelöf would certainly be one that makes sense. Having put some good performances in of late, his selection would hardly be unjustified.

Rashford has a good chance of being involved. The Manchester-born and academy lad elements will be on the club’s mind as they approach the derby, despite Rashford not playing well of late.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.