Manchester United vs Manchester City: The starting XI

by Tom Newbold

Monday evening brings the Manchester derby, the first at Old Trafford since the infamous 6-1. United are looking to do the double over City and all but clinch their 20th title, whilst City are looking to build some late season momentum and shorten the 15 point game between themselves and United.

With the Premier League the sole competition left on the table for United now, Sir Alex Ferguson can select pretty much whatever team he wants for each game remaining.


David de Gea De Gea is currently on a run of six consecutive Premier League sheets and counting. A seventh is not an unreasonable suggestion given United’s current defensive record.

Rafael da Silva One of Rafael’s best games this season was at the Etihad, and he may be required to join in with attack to give United another dimension on Monday.

Rio Ferdinand Central defence is likely to be made up of two from Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans. The experience of Ferdinand is likely to be chosen.

Nemanja Vidic Captain Vidic is likely to partner Ferdinand as Evans recovers fully from a niggle.

Patrice Evra Evra is perhaps one of the few certainties to start this game ahead of his nearest competitor Buttner.

Antonio Valencia United are more than likely to try and expose City with width, especially considering the narrow system their rivals often play with and Valencia could be key to that.

Michael Carrick The 31-year-old will need to be quick-witted and sharp just as he was at the Etihad earlier in the season. Carrick’s playmaking and defensive positioning will need to be at their best.

Phil Jones Jones may get the nod ahead of Tom Cleverley for this fixture. Cleverley has faded somewhat late on in the season and Jones’ energy could be key to United winning the midfield battle.

Ashley Young Young’s best game of the season was arguably his performance against City in December and a similarly effective game on Monday night would be timely.

Wayne Rooney If Rooney is fully fit then he will surely start against City. If not, then Danny Welbeck or Shinji Kagawa may come in, in a set-up similar to that used against Real Madrid.

Robin van Persie Van Persie will be ready to lead the line. A goal from the Dutchman would be handy after his recent drop.


City HomeA fairly deep 4-4-1-1 formation, akin to that seen is recent weeks, is prime contender for employment on Monday evening.

Ferdinand and Vidic at centre back will sit deep to secure against any exposure of pace whilst Carrick and Jones will be doing their up-most to shut off spaces for City’s creative players. Carrick and Jones may also be key and breaking up play and kick starting attacks, whether that be by spreading play or surging forward themselves (one can imagine a lung-busting Jones run up the field).

Perhaps the real key for United in an attacking sense will be out wide. The selections of Valencia and Young will help protect against City’s full-back threats, better than say Shinji Kagawa would, but they could also be vital in a counter-attacking sense as they were earlier in the season at the Etihad.

Rafael and Evra at full-back will need to be energetic in getting forward to expose any space left by City’s narrow wingers, but will also need to be wary of the tendency of City’s strikers to run into the channels and behind the full-backs.

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gee jay 04/08/2013 - 16:22

Mr Mbura Saje dis a manchester Derby performances against other Big teams don’t count becos this is about rivalry and WHO OWNS THE CITY?

mbura sraje 04/08/2013 - 14:42

As a matter of fact this is one of the matches that decide whether the Cities are to remain on the run for the title this season.I feel both teams are going to do their best but i think Man City will be better than United according to Man U’s recent performance against bigger clubs right from Madrid.

Teddylove 04/08/2013 - 12:49

I’m 100percent red devil fan,i want dis infrmatoin 2day,dea gea,rafael,fardinand,evans,evra,nani,carick,clevaly,kagawa,young,RVP

Moses Chansa 04/08/2013 - 12:39

Though, I’m a Man Utd Fan, the game would be 50-50. But if Valencia and Ashely Youngs wld work tirelessly and strengthen their muscles with crosses then definately no doubts Waza Rooney &R.V.P wld capitalize by dat and found the back net frequently. In favar, Man Utd to 2 carry the day. Viva Man Utd. Moses Chansa. Zambia

John nyangol jok kurun 04/08/2013 - 11:55

Red devils victory our traditions. United fans worry not, it is R.v.p and W.Rooney job

Semere Araya 04/08/2013 - 10:07


Tunas 04/08/2013 - 09:29

I want united 2 win & 2 ofload sum players like anderson,valencia,young,fletcher&luk 4 their replacement

John liky 04/08/2013 - 09:13

Iam very happy with da current united record, however todays game will be very hot with united winning 1-0 on apenalty kick…united diehard fan from south sudan

Whakheel 04/08/2013 - 07:26

Whem,i know d match is going to be tough tonight,but,i United we win,by God grace,up untd,up Fagie&d players

Storyboy 04/08/2013 - 07:06

Man Utd to win 2 -1

doncrow 04/08/2013 - 04:23

my starting XI will be a lil bit different: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Celverly, Nani, Kagawa, Rooney, Robin van Persie

realist 04/08/2013 - 14:32

lol, football is all about opinions im well aware, but to leave our best centre midfielder out of this one shows a real lack of understanding in my opinion. Carrick has been superb for us this year after a season and half of under achieveing, he has been exceptional, only you have not seen it i assume?!

Timo muendo 04/07/2013 - 23:43

Man united win 3-1

Ohitai John Mario 04/07/2013 - 21:15

I am 100% Man Utd fan and I would like Utd be disappointed at home. My proposed starting IX are; De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Evans, Vidic, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverly, Carrick, Rooney and Van Persie. Then I shall be contented with a win of 2 – 0 in favour of Utd. Thanks.

markos haile 04/08/2013 - 08:08

Is currently Valencia and Young deserve starting line up( even for bench)?. Instead the starting line should be Degea raffeal ferdinand evans/vidic nani carrick cleaverly welbeck rooney and RVP. With playing time for kagawa and Chicharito. But, currently, united is not playing good and i am very much disappointed for that. Today , if young and valencia starts the game immediately i will go to home.

realist 04/08/2013 - 14:31

Valencia has had a very bad season this year, that is obvious, but your faith in Nani is puzzling! he has just had 1 and a half good games himself recently! :/


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