Predicted United starting XI to face City
Predicted XI: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Fred; Lingard, Sanchez, Martial.
On the evidence of the six games since the Newcastle victory, the defence will likely select itself in front of David De Gea for the 177th Manchester Derby on Sunday.
Victor Lindelof – who could do very, very little to stop Cristiano Ronaldo’s pile-driver on Wednesday night – should partner the increasingly-dependable Chris Smalling in the heart of defence, while Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are as good as dead certs to retain their berths as full-backs.
It will be interesting to see how Mourinho seeks to protect Young’s ageing legs, with the 33-year-old playing every minute since that wind-changing win against the Magpies. Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling are the leading candidates to inflict damage on United from the left-flank, the energy levels possessed by Jesse Lingard could see the England man deployed on the right of United’s front three with an emphasis placed on a defensive contribution.
That requirement could also see Ander Herrera play on the right of United’s midfield trio, after the 29-year-old – who has regularly been deployed by Mourinho on the big occasions – impressed in Turin on Wednesday night.