Marcos Rojo has been Manchester United’s stand-out defender this season so it was a relief for fans to see him line up against Aston Villa last weekend.
Over the course of the season, Man United have looked more solid defensively with him in the team and his return to the starting XI will give Louis van Gaal confidence ahead of his side’s clash with Manchester City on Sunday.
Against the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure, United will need to be on top form at the back and the pairing of Smalling and Rojo would go a long way to providing that.
At the other end of the pitch, Angel di Maria could exploit a fragile City defence with his pace.
Ashley Young would drop to the bench as a result but he would provide a good plan B if things aren’t going well at Old Trafford.
Elsewhere, the form of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera have left them impossible to leave out of the starting XI, while Daley Blind continues at left-back following a string of fine recent performances there.