David Silva will miss tonight’s Manchester derby after failing to recover from the knock sustained against Arsenal last Sunday.
It is the first game Silva has been unavailable for since the 4-0 win over Bournemouth in September.
On a brighter note, Gabriel Jesus returns to City’s squad after an absence of more than 10 weeks, though the young Brazilian will start on the bench.
There are also returns for Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov and Raheem Sterling as Pep Guardiola makes three changes to the team that started the FA Cup semi-final.
Starting line-up plus bench:
Bravo, Kolarov, Kompany, Otamendi, Zabaleta, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Sane, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero
Subs: Caballero, Fernando, Navas, A Garcia, G Jesus, Sagna, Clichy
It’s hard to see anything other than a 4-2-3-1 against the Reds.
Yaya Toure and Fernandinho will be tasked with keeping United’s midfield quiet, while Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi play their third game in a row together as a central defensive partnership.
Kompany will be making his third start in a row – the first time that has happened this season.
Manchester United starting XI and bench:
Race for the top four...
Tonight’s results will have a huge bearing on the top four aspirations of City, United, Liverpool and Arsenal – the latter two clubs are probably hoping for a draw.
The Blues can stake a firm grip on third spot with a victory and still have a game in hand over Liverpool, while gaining breathing space over United and Arsenal.
United host Swansea at the weekend while the Blues travel to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough. Arsenal have a North London derby at Spurs to contend with while Liverpool travel to Watford.
A defeat for either side tonight is certainly not the end of their Champions League hopes as either side could still see Liverpool overhauled – it would just make things that much harder!