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Confirmed XI: Ronaldo and Greenwood lead the line against City; Fernandes, Fred and McTominay in midfield

MacFinder

Manchester United return to Premier League football ahead of the last international break of 2021, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford in a 12:30 kick off this afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side got back to winning ways in the league last weekend as they beat a terrible Tottenham Hotspur side 3-0 last Saturday evening. On Tuesday, United drew 2-2 with Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League, coming from behind twice in the match with Cristiano Ronaldo saving United blushes with two goals in added time at the end of each half. Ronaldo has scored nine goals in the 11 appearances he has made since returning to United.

Solskjaer needs to be stronger in his team selection. He seems to stick with favourites despite many of them not performing during the past month which has seen United on a poor run of form, despite being lucky at times in Champions League matches. Losing Raphael Varane ahead of the derby is a big loss with United’s defence looking shaky this season without him but Eric Bailly’s performance against Atalanta will give United some steel at the back, which is much needed at this time. Harry Maguire will need to find form sooner or later or he, himself, could face some time on the bench.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Maguire, Bailly;

Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred, Shaw;

Fernandes;

Greenwood, Ronaldo

Substitutes:

Henderson; Dalot, Telles; Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial, Rashford, Sancho

Manchester City:

Ederson;

Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo;

Gundogan, Rodri, Silva;

Jesus, De Bruyne, Foden

Substitutes:

Steffen, Carson; Ake, Zinchenko; Grealish, Fernandinho, Palmer; Sterling, Mahrez

United and City have met a total of 48 times in the history of the Premier League – with City being the only of the two teams to have been relegated from the English top flight in this time. United have won 24 times, drawn nine times with City winning the remaining 15 times. United have scored 70 goals, winning five penalties and scoring four of them. City have scored 61 goals, winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 18 clean sheets, with City keeping 10. United players have been shown 84 yellow cards and seven red cards with City players being shown 106 yellow cards and one red card.

There have been many players who have played for both United and City in the history of both clubs. The more well known are Billy Meredith, Denis Law, Brian Kidd, Terry Cooke, Peter Schmeichel, Andrew Cole, Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Abbie McManus, Jane Ross, Aoife Mannion, Charlie McNeill (who has only played academy football with both teams so far and current United first team player Jadon Sancho. In recent history, Tevez was a player who left West Ham United for United on a two-year loan. At United, in a total of 99 appearances, scoring 34 goals and 14 assists. Hargreaves starred for United and was crocked at City.

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW