Manchester United predicted XI versus Manchester City: How will van Gaal set his team up for the derby?

Manchester United still have a few players out injured going into the Manchester Derby on Sunday, so what is the starting XI likely to be?

Manchester United predicted XI versus Manchester City: How will van Gaal set his team up for the derby?
Picture source: Getty Images

Manchester United head into a crunch clash on Sunday against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium looking to pick themselves up after being knocked out of the Europa League midweek by Liverpool.

Louis van Gaal still has a few of his key players out or not ready to play the full game. The long-term injuries to contend with are Luke Shaw, Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones

Key players are starting to return

The good news is after two months out with injury Ashley Young has returned to training. Antonio Valencia and Bastian Schweinsteiger have made the substitutes bench in the last couple of games but it remains to be seen if they can start a game yet.  

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has also returned to training but is unlikely to feature after being out for a few weeks. Ander Herrera missed United's game against Liverpool on Thursday due to a groin strain and is unlikely to be risked this weekend. 

Will Keane is also on the sidelines after having groin surgery recently. So, with a number of first-team absentees to contend with, who is likely to be in the starting XI for this weekend's game? 

Varela likely to be dropped after poor performance midweek

David de Gea will once again take up the reigns in goal as he is having a fantastic season and is one of the big reasons United haven't lost more games this season. Guillermo Varela was brought off at half-time on Thursday after having a nightmare and it is likely he will be taken out of the firing line this weekend for Matteo Darmian.

Chris Smalling and Daley Blind are set to start as the two centre-backs once again with Marcos Rojo set to continue in the left-back role that he is starting to make his own now. Michael Carrick is set to keep his place in midfield with Marouane Fellaini set to also be there after starting the last three consecutive games. 

Martial will be looking to continue his good form

Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial are set to provide the width on the wings for the Reds. Lingard played in the number 10 role for the first half on Thursday night but it didn't work out so he is set to go back out to the wing. Martial showed on Thursday he is starting to get into form by tormenting the Liverpool defence all night. 

Martial scored his second goal in two games against Liverpool on Thursday | Photo: Getty Images
Martial scored his second goal in two games against Liverpool on Thursday | Photo: Getty Images

Juan Mata is likely to start in his favoured number 10 role due the Herrera's injury while Marcus Rashford will hoping to score his first goal in five games when he starts up front on his own.

Predicted XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Fellaini; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rashford.