Smalling and Shaw facing late fitness tests for Man City game

by Ben Topliss

Louis van Gaal has confirmed Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw will undergo late fitness tests ahead of the Manchester derby this weekend.

Smalling was in great form prior to being injured during the international break with England in their match against Italy, so Louis van Gaal will be keen to have him back as soon as possible.

That being said, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are both available having trained this week so van Gaal still has options even without Smalling.

Daley Blind has deputised at left-back superbly in Shaw’s absence but the 19-year-old will be desperate to earn his spot back in the team.

Although he did play there for the Netherlands, few expected Blind to do quite as well as he has at left-back but it’s a testament to his versatile qualities as a player. Up against the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero, he’ll have to be on the ball.

Pictures: Shaw and Smalling back in Manchester United training

This weekend is a very important match in the race for the top four. If United win, they go four points ahead of City and will consolidate their position in third. If City win, they will leapfrog van Gaal’s side and re-gain third spot.

All in all, everything is set up for Sunday to be a fantastic game in what is van Gaal’s first home derby as United manager.

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