Victor Lindelof and Mason Greenwood were recalled to Manchester United’s starting line-up for Saturday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester City.
Centre-back Lindelof missed Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw with Atalanta with a knock sustained in training and was considered doubtful for the Manchester derby.
However, the Sweden international returned for the clash at Old Trafford in place of Raphael Varane, who was injured in that midweek European match and faces a month out.
Lindelof started in a back three alongside Eric Bailly – making just a third start of the season – and Harry Maguire, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sticking to a 3-5-2 system employed in his side’s last two games.
Unlike those previous two matches, there was a place in the starting line-up for Greenwood, who came in for Marcus Rashford. Edinson Cavani was not included in the squad due to injury.
Cristiano Ronaldo led United’s attack as expected as he looked to build on a return of three goals in his past five Premier League meetings with City.
Fred was the other change made by Solskjaer from the Atalanta match, the Brazil international replacing Paul Pogba as he continues to serve a domestic suspension.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 6, 2021
City also made three changes from their 4-1 win over Club Brugge in the week, with Jack Grealish’s exclusion being the big talking point.
The British record signing’s place in the starting line-up was taken by Kevin De Bruyne, who was expected to play through the middle of the forward line in the absence of a recognised striker.
Asked to explain the decision, City boss Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports: “We want a left foot on the left side and right foot on right side. That is the reason.”
Aymeric Laporte also made way after being sent off in last week’s 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace, with Ruben Dias getting the nod at the back alongside John Stones, while Gabriel Jesus came in for the benched Riyad Mahrez.
United were unbeaten in their last four league games against City heading into Saturday’s meeting – their longest such run against their fierce rivals since a run of six between 2008 and 2011.
Your derby day line-up!
XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, De Bruyne, Jesus, Foden
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 6, 2021