By Andy Hyslop
- Both teams desperate for the three points
- Valencia made return from injury against Liverpool
- Herrera a fitness doubt
Manchester United visit neighbours City knowing that nothing more than a win will do. This game means much more than bragging rights, with both teams looking to finish inside the top four of the Premier League.
Both teams are struggling to find their best form, with both drawing their last two games. United registering 1-1 draws with West Ham and Liverpool. While City have back-to-back goalless draws against Norwich and Dynamo Kiev.
Going into this game, United sit four points behind City in the league table and City currently occupy that last position in the top four that will bring Champions League football next season.
This will be the last Manchester Derby for at least one of the manager. Pellegrini has already announced he is leaving City, while Van Gaal position has been under continued scrutiny for the last four months.
Van Gaal will probably need to gain Champions League qualification to keep his job and after Europa League exit on Thursday night a top four position is the only way to do that.
The injuries appearing to clearing up at Old Trafford. In recent months, Van Gaal has had up to 16 players out at any one time.
The positive aspect of the recent injuries has been the emergence of young players like Borthwick-Jackson, Varela and Rashford.
Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney are still missing with long-term injuries but recent games has seen the returns of Schweinsteiger and Valencia from the bench and both must be in contention to start this game.
Ashley Young looks like he could be the next one to return to first-team action after returning to full training this week.
Ander Herrera sat out the draw with Liverpool on Thursday night with a tight groin and must be a doubt to start this game.
We believe there may be at least four changes to the United team that started against Liverpool. The first coming at right-back with Darmian starting in place of Varela.
Both Carrick and Fellaini started the games against West Ham and Liverpool and Van Gaal may opt to freshen up his midfield by restoring Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger to the starting eleven.
Meaning in attack, Memphis may return to the team in place of Rashford. With Martial reverted to the central striker role.