Expected Manchester United lineup versus Manchester City

Nottingham Forest v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
Nottingham Forest v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Manchester United make the short trip to the other side of the city on Sunday afternoon, as they take on rivals and treble winner Manchester City.

Whilst remaining unconvincing in their performances, United have finally racked up a level of consistency that was missing in a disastrous first half of the season. They had been undefeated in 2024 up until the miserable 2-1 loss against Fulham in the last Premier League fixture.

A 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup gave the Red Devils a momentary bounce back, as they learnt that the opponents in the next round of the FA Cup will be Liverpool. Before they concern themselves with that, a mighty task stands in front of them on Sunday in the form of Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side.

City are ready to pump up in time for their typical ‘God mode’ in the second half of the season. Currently, they find themselves 4 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League - who won 1-0 against United’s last opponents, Nottingham Forest, on Saturday thanks to a late Darwin Nunez winner. Looking down, they are 1 point ahead of Arsenal with all to play for domestically.

In their last outing, Erling Haaland bagged a scintillating 5 goals, whilst Kevin De Bruyne secured 4 assists in their win against Luton Town. Unluckily for Ten Hag’s side, City are more than ready for Derby Day as their best players are back on top form in a season thus far they have barely got out of third gear in. Despite this, Guardiola’s side are undefeated in their last 18 games - a great sign of the standards and excellence they hold that United can only dream of in recent years.

Ten Hag’s record against Manchester City is humbling, and he will be hoping to put a dented in City’s course for success…. All while doing that with a number of injuries to account for.

Here is the expected lineup for Manchester United:

André Onana will most certainly start against the team he lost the Champions League final to last season with Inter Milan.

Diogo Dalot is United’s only available natural fullback at the moment, and will start in his favoured position.

Raphael Varane will add a host of experience to a depleted backline, enjoying another start in his recent injury-free run.

Jonny Evans is no stranger to the Manchester Derby, and will likely start ahead of Harry Maguire who is still an injury doubt after missing the FA Cup win.

Victor Lindelöf could be in for a tricky time at left-back, as he is the only senior option available to play there - providing Guardiola with a focal point to exploit.

Casemiro started and scored in United’s narrow win at Forest Ground. He will start as a protective shield in a gruelling midfield battle.

Kobbie Mainoo’s form in recent game has simmered down, but he will be hoping to bounce back in fashionable style as the standard of competition will certainly be the toughest he’s faces thus far as a United regular.

Antony is expected to start if United are to start with Marcus Rashford as a 9. The Brazilian was uninspiring in a rare start in the last outing, but could offer some defensive stability.

Bruno Fernandes did not miss the FA Cup tie, this conditioning his excellent run of availability. He should be available to start despite picking up a further knock in the Forest game.

Alejandro Garnacho is one of the first names on the team sheet, and United will look to use his trickery and unpredictability to create a moment or two at the Etihad.

Marcus Rashford, after making a statement online this week, will be hoping to make a significant statement on the pitch as he looks to back his words up with a start in the number 9 role in the absence of Rasmus Højlund.