Manchester United are currently gearing up for their crunch showdown with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Ralf Rangnick’s team go into the match having lost just one of their 13 Premier League matches since the 63-year-old’s appointment. And Express Sport will now take a look at how the Red Devils should line up for the derby showdown, with several possible changes.
Goalkeeper: De Gea
United fans have been furiously debating the credentials of David De Gea and Dean Henderson on social media this week.
Yet, for Rangnick, there’s just one winner.
De Gea has been back to his brilliant best this season, with the Spain international producing the same sort of form he managed under Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal.
While his distribution is still a weak point, the 31-year-old has been able to re-establish himself as one of Europe’s best goalkeepers.
And there’s no chance of him being dropped for the match with City on Sunday.
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Defense: Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw
United’s last match, against Watford, saw them line up with a back four consisting of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane and Alex Telles.
Yet with Telles struggling to make his mark, Luke Shaw could be brought back into the side.
Shaw, on his day, is one of the best left-backs in the whole of world football.
And after shining against City last season, scoring in a 2-0 win in the same fixture, Rangnick may choose to make a change.
With Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane starting to click at center-back, it’s possible Harry Maguire will be left on the bench.
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Midfield: McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes
United may choose to bring Scott McTominay back into the team now the Scotland international is fully fit again.
The midfielder has been a regular under Rangnick and may come in at the expense of Fred.
Nemanja Matic could also be a fall guy.
Paul Pogba, meanwhile, has been impressive since his own injury return as his time at Old Trafford starts to wind down.
But Bruno Fernandes is an undroppable presence and will be expected to start.
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Forwards: Sancho, Rashford, Elanga
Anthony Elanga has been in impressive form for United in recent weeks.
Despite the magnitude of the match, the Red Devils are set to chuck him in alongside Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
Sancho could take Elanga’s place on the right wing, whereas Rashford may be unleashed down the middle with Cristiano Ronaldo set to miss out altogether.
Ronaldo was not with the 21-man squad on Saturday night and is now expected to miss out in a major decision from Rangnick.
The Portugal international has been out of form in recent months but the 37-year-old is the man for the big occasion. Yet Rangnick may take a big gamble by leaving him at home for one of United’s biggest games of the season.
Rangnick insists progress has been made
Speaking ahead of United’s match with City, Rangnick insisted progress had been made.
“When City won 2-0 at Old Trafford they did it in style and it could have been a higher margin,” he said.
“Now, for us, it is about confirming the development of the team in the last three months.
“We have been unbeaten in the last 11 games and we haven’t lost a single away game since I arrived.
“We know this will be the biggest challenge so far because we haven’t played against a team of that kind of quality.”