Coleen Rooney is in a packed directors’ box with her boys. The Fletcher twins are also present, as always. It’s possibly split loyalties for them, what with being in the City academy. United can go a point behind City if they win today, but they are still a staggering 22 goals behind them with regard to goal difference.
Erik ten Hag has made his side hard to breakdown, but they still don’t pose enough threat going forward. Today is a day when their forwards need to be at their very best. It’s an old cliché that form goes out of the window on derby day, and that might well work against United today. They head into this match with the better form and with a genuine expectation to get a result. It will take a different type of character to win this one rather than the recent matches they have.
Rico Lewis walks off last from the warmups, taking it all in as he moves down the Old Trafford pitch. He may not be starting but could well come on in the second half and will soak up every minute he can of what should be the first of many trips to Old Trafford.
Malacia had such a chastening time at the Etihad he was hooked at half time and he came off at 2-1 against Everton last week. He’s athletic and committed but quite often porous.
Retaining Malacia is a bigger call than having to start Wan-Bissaka, dreadful in both derbies last season. Wan-Bissaka has at least performed well in certain derbies and he has been defensively sound of late.
— Troll Football (@UKTrollFootball) January 14, 2023