Team news for the Manchester derby
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided the latest news on his squad ahead of the derby with City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The 17:30 GMT kick-off presents the perfect opportunity to respond to our midweek Champions League exit, with the Reds going into the game a point ahead of Pep Guardiola's Blues in the table.
Of course, our last meeting with City was the final match at Old Trafford with fans present, before COVID-19 restrictions began to take place. This encounter will also be played behind closed doors due to the wider regulations, even if last weekend's win at West Ham was in front of 2,000 supporters as London is currently in a lower tier of the Government's rules.
Fred returns from the European suspension he served in midweek, against RB Leipzig, following his red card in the defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. However, he was also rested for our last Premier League outing, the 3-1 victory at West Ham United.
Strikers Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial were withdrawn with knocks against the Hammers and, as a result, were unable to make the flight to Germany. Luke Shaw made his first appearance since suffering a hamstring problem against Everton, when playing for the first hour at Red Bull Arena.
There would appear to be mixed news on the attacking front regarding Martial and Cavani.
"Anthony will definitely be involved and Edinson has been on the grass today," Ole told us, before his press conference. "But I’m not sure if he’ll make it. Apart from that, we’ve had a couple of days of recovery and we should be ready."
That would suggest Shaw suffered no ill effects and it will be interesting to see which formation the boss adopts, after starting the defender as part of a five-man backline against Leipzig.
TEAM NEWS FOR CITY
Manager Guardiola has suggested star striker Sergio Aguero is not ready to start, after returning from injury, despite coming off the bench to score in the 3-0 midweek Champions League win over Marseille. The Blues were able to rest key players for the victory at the Etihad Stadium, including Kevin De Bruyne and in-form Ruben Dias.
Ilkay Gundogan was withdrawn, but only as a precaution, with an ankle injury, as the overall picture looks a healthy one for our neighbours. Indeed, it was later confirmed Gundogan has trained ahead of the weekend but defender Eric Garcia has been ruled out for two or three weeks.
WATCH MATCHDAY LIVE FOR FREE
Thanks to #ILOVEUNITED, Manchester United fans around the world can take advantage of a special derby event this Saturday, by watching MUTV's live pre-match show for free on ManUtd.com and the Official App, from 16:25 GMT until kick-off at 17:30 GMT. Please note, the post-match show and this weekend's live Under-18 and Under-23 games will still be for MUTV subscribers only.