Mata deputised for Rooney in the No.10 role when United’s captain was serving a three match suspension but failed to really capitalise on his opportunity.
However, with Radamel Falcao still a potential doubt for the game against City, we decided to give Mata another run out with Rooney ahead of him instead of Falcao. It would be a big show of faith by Louis van Gaal to play Mata again despite his recent invisible performances.
The return of Ander Herrera is also a big change for United as his dynamic and energetic style of play would be able to squeeze the space in midfield which City were so gladly afforded in recent derbies.
Mata would be instrumental in this formation to bridge the midfield and attack but any team with Di Maria in is capable of doing something special.