Derby day at the Emptyhad. This game always fascinates me. In the build up to the game, which started after Sunday’s win over Burnley, I have had more mood swings than a teenage girl. United and City both sit in an interesting position heading into the final few games of the season. City hold the advantage and the all-important fourth spot with 64 points, with United breathing down their necks on 63. However, my attention isn’t on City when I look at the table. I am firmly focused on the late-season-capitulation champions Liverpool who are three points ahead of the Red Devils but have played two games more. A point away at City tonight will be very welcome in my eyes, as it would only take winning the other game in hand to go a point above them.
Jose Mourinho in this press conference on Tuesday, confirmed Antonio Valencia (who was rested against Burnley) and Ander Herrera are both fit for tonight game. Both players will be vital to the Red Devils this evening. Paul Pogba had to leave the field early on Sunday and the Boss has confirmed the Frenchman is not available for the trip to Eastlands. Mourinho also confirmed Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have ruled themselves out, causing slight friction as Jose seemed to question their commitment to the team. Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rojo and Juan Mata are still on the long-term injury list.
“We go with what we have and we fight with what we have” said Mourinho.
Pep Guardiola has no such injury worries with his City side being close to full strength. Aguero left the field during extra time in the FA Cup Semi-Final loss to Arsenal, but Pep has declared him fit to play tonight. Gabriel Jesus is also ready to return after three months on the sidelines with a fractured metatarsal. David Silva is a serious doubt as he was forced off in the first half at Wembley.
As I referred to earlier, my pre-game mood swings have resulted in my prediction changing ever hour or so. I feel I have somewhat settled on a very optimistic United win, purely because we somehow pulled that same result off last year when Rashford stole the show. If United are to take the points I’m sure Rashford will have had a part to play again. I would, however, take a point now. I’m sure a good number of United fans would join me in that boat. Given the injury lists of both teams, City have to be the favourites, but as we all know – never write off United.