Who should start between Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford against Manchester City this weekend?

Manchester United go head to head with Manchester City at the Etihad in the Premier League on Saturday evening. City are just one victory away from being crowned the Premier League champions and United will be looking to stop that from happening, at least for another week. Jose Mourinho has improved United this season, helped to drive the team forward with much better results.

The football though has not been the best but many should be able to see it is a work in progress. One thing that has been asked during the week is who should start for United between Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford? Both have put in a lot of effort for the Old Trafford club this season, both have had some good results recently, by scoring or assisting goals but who should start?

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Marcus Rashford – entire 2017/18 season

During the entire season, Rashford has made a total of 43 appearances for his club, scoring 13 goals and assisting a further six. The 20-year-old has played a total of 2,254 minutes of football with some pundits questioning Mourinho’s use of the player after he was seemingly benched after Sanchez arrived. Rashford had a period of injury around the same time, which some failed to mention.

Rashford has scored goals against Leicester City, Stoke City, Basel, two against Burton Albion, Benfica, Huddersfield Town, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Yeovil Town, and two against Liverpool which has continued his climb to becoming the player he wants to become, both for club and country. Rashford has scored a goal every 173 minutes.

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Alexis Sanchez – entire 2017/18 season

This season, Sanchez has made a total of 34 appearances for both United and Arsenal, scoring 10 goals and assisting a further four. The 29-year-old has played 2,630 minutes of football during the course of the season and after moving to United, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading in the other direction, the Chilean has failed to live up to expectations since moving to Manchester.

Sanchez has scored against Cologne, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Burnley, twice against Huddersfield Town, Liverpool, Swansea City and twice against Crystal Palace. Sanchez has a way to go in order to become that player he was tipped to become, but on average this season, he has found the back of the net every 263 minutes.

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Marcus Rashford – since Alexis Sanchez signed for Manchester United

Marcus Rashford has made a total of eight appearances since Sanchez signed for United during the January transfer window. Rashford missed the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United (11th February) and the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town (17th February) in the Emirates FA Cup due to injury and had not been in the best of form at the turn of the year.

Rashford has played eight times, playing a total of 357 minutes, scoring three goals, one assist, amassing 14 shots on goal, four of those being on target. Many may seem him as the player to start because of this but he’s not actually in form right now, which is something that could be the difference between winning and leaving the Etihad as losers, or just with a point.

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Alexis Sanchez – since he signed for Manchester United

Alexis Sanchez has made a total of 11 appearances since signing for the Old Trafford club during the January transfer window. Despite not managing to strike fear as that player we all know he can be, the Chilean has not bummed through each of his performances.

At times, despite not actually scoring or assisting, he had put in a lot of effort in matches, which is something he was known to do at Arsenal – something they may miss. Sanchez has played 11 times, playing a total of 917 minutes, scoring two goals, assisting three more, having 18 shots on goal, eight of those on target. Sanchez may not be in form, but that performance against Swansea could help.

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In an important match, such as the upcoming Manchester derby, having the best players available is great but only eleven can start with up to three more being able to come on during the match. Sanchez for me could be the type of player to command a performance to be proud of. The way he played in the first half against Swansea last weekend could be something he puts into practice again.

Rashford, a player that could be the only Mancunian to play in both Manchester derbies this season, can come on later in the match and using his pace, ability on the ball and his lack of fear for the opposition to cause problems in the latter stages, which could see United in the driving seat in the game. Both Rashford and Sanchez are talents but the Chilean has more to prove right now.

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