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Manchester United predicted XI: Odion Ighalo to start in Manchester derby

Manchester United predicted XI: Odion Ighalo to start in Manchester derby - Manchester United

Manchester United will be looking to bolster their chances of a top-four finish at home against Manchester City later today, and the Red Devils will be hoping that VAR is on their side once again after being gifted a lifeline against Everton last week to earn a draw.

Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes salvaged a point for United against the Toffees, after scoring a superb goal from outside the box to beat Jordan Pickford – the midfielder’s goal was his second since coming to England, and put his total to 2 goals and 2 assists in his first four games, averaging 4 shots per game. [WhoScored]

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad to see the possible returns of Welsh youngster Daniel James and English fullback Aaron Wan-Bissaka after both picking up knocks in recent games. James suffered an injury against Club Brugge last Thursday in the Europa League and Wan-Bissaka picked up a slight back issue after completing 90 minutes against Everton last Sunday. [Manchester Evening News]

So, how will United lineup against City?

David De Gea’s aim will be to make up for mistakes this season and prove why he is Utd’s No.1 – the Spaniard has made seven goalkeeping errors that have led to goals since the start of last season [Sky Sports].

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are topping the charts for the Red Devils in both clearances and aerial battles won – Maguire (125 and 135), Lindelof (85 and 70) – and have proved themselves as United’s best centre-back pairing so far this season [Premier League].

Brandon Williams should be starting over Luke Shaw in a game of this magnitude. The local Mancunian has conceded just nine goals when playing at left-back, two fewer than Shaw – as well as this the youngster averages the same amount of tackles per game (1.4) [WhoScored].

A deeper midfield pairing of Scott McTominay and Fred should prove decisive in breaking up Manchester City’s midfield play – the Scotsman proved important before his injury setback in December 2019, scoring against top-four rivals Arsenal, and is looking to cement his permanent place in Solskjaer’s team.

Fred has been one of the first names on the teamsheet this season – the Brazilian has the most interceptions compared to the rest of United’s midfield with 34 [Premier League].

Fernandes will no doubt start in an advanced midfield role, proving his worth since his arrival – this will likely be followed with Martial playing left midfield, the Frenchman is United’s second-highest goalscorer this season in the league with 10 goals [Premier League], and the return of Daniel James at right midfield will add to the creativity seen in Bruno Fernandes – the Welshman is top of the charts for assists for United in the Premier League, leading the way with six [Premier League].

Marcus Rashford is still out on the sidelines with an expected return in April – his injury back in mid-January led to the return of Odion Ighalo back to the Premier League, with the Nigerian scoring 15 goals for Watford in his debut season back in 2015/16 [Premier League]. He could have the chance to start up top on Sunday, having shown signs of that form Premier League spectators saw five years ago.

How would you line up? Join the discussion by commenting below…

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Article title: Manchester United predicted XI: Odion Ighalo to start in Manchester derby

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