Marcus Rashford set to miss Manchester derby despite England U21s display

by Leo Nieboer

Marcus Rashford is set to miss out on Jose Mourinho’s starting XI for the Manchester derby on Saturday despite his astonishing display for the England Under 21s, according to reports. 

The 18-year-old was controversially dropped from the England side by Sam Allardyce following a lack of game-time under Mourinho during the early stages of the season, but responded in emphatic fashion by crowning a wonderful performance against Hull City with a late winner.

Rashford sent another huge message to both Allardyce and Mourinho by netting a hat-trick on his Under 21 debut, obliterating Norway in a 6-1 win.

However, amid calls from all corners of United’s fanbase for Rashford to start against Pep Guardiola’s side, Mourinho will elect to use the youngster as an impact substitute.

Most derbies are hallmarked by raw aggression, passion and sheer grit, culminating in a fast-paced, occasionally disjointed encounter. But as Mourinho and Guardiola go head to head, the football world will see a battle constructed according to precise design – like a game of chess, rather than a knife-fight – as both managers look to tactically out-think eachother.

But is the right way to topple Guardiola’s system? An alternative approach would be to centre an unyielding, brutish attacking onslaught around Rashford, launching a violent assault on the Spaniard’s system. The 18-year-old ‘s fearlessness and devastating speed could actually be key to breaking apart this Manchester City side – a side that miserably failed to deal with him back in March. 

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