PREVIEW By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Manchester United’s derby win over Manchester City catapulted them back into the reckoning for a top-four finish and the chance to salvage something from a disappointing campaign.
Louis van Gaal is likely to stick with the bulk of the side that defeated City before the international break, although he will wait for fitness updates on his players before selecting his starting XI.
With Bastian Schweinsteiger unlikely to pay again this season, Van Gaal will perm two from Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini for the two central midfield spots.
The combination of natural anchormen Schneiderlin and Carrick has not always been a successful one this season but Van Gaal will be loathe to split them up after they were so successful in disrupting City’s passing rhythms.
One of the few shining lights for United this season has been the emergence of Marcus Rashford, whose extraordinary start to his career has lifted a team, a club and an entire fanbase.
The striker is likely to keep his place for the ninth consecutive match after scoring the winner with an emphatic finish against City.
That would mean Anthony Martial once again being used on the left flank, with Jesse Lingard likely to get the nod over Memphis Depay on the right wing.
Juan Mata’s greater efficiency in and around the box mean he should get the nod over Ander Herrera for the central playmaker role.
In defence, the experience of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind should make them shoo-ins, and Van Gaal will assess Marcos Rojo in training before deciding whether to start him for an eighth consecutive match.
Manchester United (possible) De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Carrick; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rashford