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How Manchester United could line up against Manchester City

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Manchester United could line up in Sunday's Premier League clash with Manchester City.

Manchester United will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on bitter rivals and division leaders Manchester City.

Head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed on Friday afternoon that Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Phil Jones remain unavailable for selection, while David de Gea has returned to Spain for the birth of his child, meaning that Dean Henderson will retain his spot between the sticks.

Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial both missed Wednesday's goalless draw with Crystal Palace but could potentially return to the squad for the Manchester derby.

Victor Lindelof was not involved against the Eagles as he battles a back problem, but the Sweden international is expected to return to the starting XI at the Etihad Stadium.

Scott McTominay, meanwhile, is likely to return to the midfield alongside Fred, while Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford should start despite both looking tired in recent games.

Daniel James has been in strong form for the Red Devils in recent weeks, and the fact that the Wales international was not named in the XI against Palace suggests that he will be involved from the start here, potentially at the expense of Mason Greenwood.

Solskjaer does have the option of selecting Greenwood through the middle and dropping fit-again Edinson Cavani down to the bench.

However, the Uruguay international should be preferred from the start, with the likes of Greenwood, Amad Diallo and potentially Martial providing the attacking options on the bench.

Solskjaer also has the option of playing a back three, with Luke Shaw potentially operating as a third centre-back, allowing Alex Telles to come into the XI as a wing-back.

However, the Norwegian is expected resist the temptation to change his formation as Man United attempt to stretch their unbeaten Premier League away record, which currently stands at 21 matches.

Man United possible starting lineup: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani

> Click here to see how Man City could line up for this contest

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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Manchester City's Joao Cancelo and teammates remonstrate with referee Chris Kavanagh against Manchester United in the Premier League on December 12, 2020
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Combined XI: Man City vs. Man United

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Todays Game Header Right
1Manchester CityMan City32235467234474
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd31189461342763
3Leicester CityLeicester31175955371856
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham31167851391255
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs311471052351749
10Leeds UnitedLeeds31143144949045
11Aston Villa301351243331044
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves31108133141-1038
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton31712123338-533
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3188153251-1932
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3159172859-3124
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3142251755-3814

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