MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – As expected, Juan Mata returns to the starting lineup for Manchester United for Sunday’s derby clash with Manchester City at Old Trafford.
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Mata was an unused substitute in midweek in Manchester United’s Champions League game in Russia, but manager Louis van Gaal has decided to recall the Spanish international for this big time fixture.
Mata return sees Jesse Lingard making way, but he is on the bench, with Memphis Depay also having to play a substitute role again for the Red Devils after his poor performances recently.
Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial lead the attack for Manchester United, with Ander Herrera also keeping his place, following his impressive performances in the last two outings.
Daley Blind stays on the bench, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling starting at centre-back. Antonio Valencia is also preferred ahead of Matteo Darmian at right-back, with Marco Rojo on the left side.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin are the favoured two to start in central midfield, with Michael Carrick on the bench.
And staying on the subject of midfield, Manchester City have decided to go with Brazilian pair Fernando and Fernandinho in the central part of their pitch.
There is no David Silva, though, so Yaya Toure will push further up the park, with Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling supporting Wilfried Bony, who gets the starting nod, as Sergio Augero is still injured.
Leading centre-back Vincent Kompany is however, fit to start and he will be partnered by summer recruit Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of the backline. Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov start as well.
Among the subs for Manchester City are Pablo Zabaleta, Jesus Navas, Eliaquim Mangala, Martin Demichelis and Kelechi Iheanacho.
Manchester United have Sergio Romero, Marouane Fellaini, Depay, Carrick and Blind among the subs.