Greenwood and Ronaldo start: confirmed Manchester United lineup vs Manchester City

Manchester United are back in Premier League action this afternoon as they welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford for the first derby of the season, with the last international break of the calendar year just around the corner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are aiming to extend their impressive record against Pep Guardiola’s side, having last lost a league meeting with their noisy neighbours in 2019.

Ahead of the game, the Norwegian manager confirmed he would be without Raphael Varane and possibly Victor Lindelof, who missed the 2-2 draw with Atalanta after sustaining an injury in training. It’s good news for Solskjaer, however, as the Sweden international is in the side to face Manchester City.

Confirmed XI: De Gea – Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Bailly, Shaw – McTominay, Fred, Fernandes – Greenwood, Ronaldo

BenchHenderson, Telles, Dalot, Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek, Martial, Rashford, Sancho

Manchester United were dealt a heavy blow in the days leading up to the game, with Edinson Cavani ruled out with an injury. The Uruguayan forward has been left out of the squad. Instead, Mason Greenwood leads the line with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored nine goals in just 11 appearances since sealing his second coming earlier this year.

Read more: Dimitar Berbatov fears Solskjaer sack ahead of Manchester derby

SN’s verdict on today’s lineup…
It’s safe to say that Solskjaer needs his players to pull out a performance today. His job is far from safe and scrutiny over his position remains at an all-time high, despite a somewhat successful recovery attempt following the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool.

The absences of Varane and Cavani are gutting they haven’t stopped Solskjaer from retaining his three-at-the-back formation, with Eric Bailly rewarded for his monstrous performance against Atalanta.

Paul Pogba’s suspension means Scott McTominay and Fred are given the nod in midfield, which would’ve been the case even if United’s expensive Frenchman was available too. The pair offers balance to Solskjaer’s side and boast an impressive record in big games.

Manchester City are just three points ahead of Manchester United going into the game, despite the two teams being very differently covered in the press. Pep Guardiola’s stuttering champions will be aiming to avenge their dismal home defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend but Solskjaer knows all about winning the derby.

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