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Manchester City vs Manchester United: The starting XI

by Sam Peoples

David De GeaDoesn’t really need to be explained any more. Without a doubt our #1 goalkeeper when fit.

Chris SmallingHis performance against Bayer Leverkusen has earned him the right to start against City with Jones injured and Rafael still not match fit.

Nemanja Vidic: After a fine start to the season, David Moyes will keep faith in United’s skipper on what will be a tough day for our centre backs.

Rio Ferdinand: Like Vidic, Ferdinand has been brilliant so far this season. No need to chop and change just yet.

Patrice Evra: Like Sir Alex Ferguson said, Evra is playing normal. Dependable. His forward surges will be needed for width on Sunday as well.

city-away-2013Antonio ValenciaAfter his performance against Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia simply has to start. He was unstoppable and Clichy will have a tough time stopping Tony.

Michael CarrickWe’ll need Carrick in the side on Sunday if we are going to win. He is the heartbeat.

Marouane FellainiHis impressive performance against Bayer Leverkusen has filled fans with hope that up against Yaya Toure, he can do a job. United will need his physical presence.

Ashley YoungLast season, City away was Young’s best performance and he’ll be needed for his defensive duties as well as his attacking prowess on Sunday.

Wayne RooneyThe man of the moment (we haven’t been able to say that for a while) is Rooney. Three goals in two games is the perfect preparation for the derby, a game he usually scores in. Will be fired up and ready to take it to City.

Robin van PersieHas gone ever so slightly quiet in the wake of Rooney’s rise but is still playing some fantastic football. He won the derby last year with a dramatic last minute winner. Can he do the same again?

Formation

David Moyes will not go into the derby with an expansive formation. He will place the emphasis on tight defensive lines and that is why Valencia and Young will be utilised on the wings. Jesus Navas will likely give Patrice Evra a torrid time so he will need the support of Young to help quash that threat.

The rest of the team almost picks itself. Rooney and van Persie are looking deadly as a duo up top and Carrick will play alongside Fellaini in what will be our strongest midfield pairing in a derby for a long time.

Chris Smalling should continue at right back after an extremely impressive display against Bayer Leverkusen while Ferdinand and Vidic will likely be Moyes’ choice at centre back.

What do you think the starting XI will be? 

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