Preview: Manchester City vs. Manchester United

Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester on September 27, 2014
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Sports Mole previews the derby between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is aware that his team require three points against rivals Manchester United to ease doubts over his team at the Etihad Stadium.

City lie in third spot in the Premier League table, but their struggles in the Champions League and Capital One Cup and no victory in three games has done little to brighten the mood at the club.

Pellegrini also suffered a blow in midweek when David Silva suffered a knee injury in the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United, leaving the Spaniard to spend the next "three to four weeks" on the sidelines.

However, the Chilean boss has options available to him as he contemplates a replacement, with Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner and Stevan Jovetic all in with a shout of a starting place.

Frank Lampard is likely to remain sidelined, while Eliaquim Mangala should get the nod over Martin Demichelis in defence.

United make the short trip across the city buoyed by their last-minute draw against league leaders Chelsea last weekend.

Louis van Gaal's team weren't overly convincing at times, but it was an improvement from some of their previous performances and they only sit one point behind Arsenal and Liverpool in the standings.

Captain Wayne Rooney returns after sitting out the last three games through suspension, with the England international also overcoming an ankle knock to start on Sunday.

Teammate Radamel Falcao will miss the game, though, after failing to recover from a knock picked up in training last week.

Midfielder Ander Herrera could be included by Van Gaal after only featuring on the bench against Chelsea.

Recent form

Manchester City: DWWDLL

Manchester United: WLWLDD

Possible starting lineups

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy; Toure, Fernando, Navas, Milner; Aguero, Dzeko

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; Blind, Fellaini; Herrera, Di Maria; Rooney; Van Persie

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Man City keeper Wilfredo Caballero during the Community Shield on August 10, 2014
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