David Silva missed the midweek loss at Borussia Dortmund with a hamstring injury and was rated as a major doubt ahead of the Manchester derby. He missed a number of games earlier this season with a similar injury and it could well be a recurrence of that knock.
Aleksandar Kolarov also missed the game in midweek after being forced off in the game against Everton last week with a groin injury. He won't make it back in time, and with Gael Clichy a severe doubt it's likely that Pablo Zabaleta will play at left back.
Jack Rodwell is well on the way to recovery but he won't play here, and James Milner misses out due to the hamstring injury that forced him off at Wigan.
Nemanja Vidic is back in training and while Sir Alex Ferguson had initially hinted that he might feature in the Champions League in midweek, he did not make that game and is unlikely to make his first appearance since September here.
This game comes too soon for Antonio Valencia to make his return to action.
Shinji Kagawa started running again this week but won't make the bench just yet, while Tom Cleverley's calf injury is unlikely to rule him out.
Rafael's place in the starting XI could be under threat after he was withdrawn early on in the first half against Reading after a shaky defensive performance. Chris Smalling or Phil Jones could replace him.
The first Manchester derby of the 2012/13 season is finally upon us, with the two rivals out in front at the top of the Premier League, 7 points clear of the chasing pack. United are a further 3 points clear at the top of the table, with City having dropped points in 3 of their last 6 games to lose pace at the top.
City's 1-0 win over United at the Etihad last season kept them in the title race, and though it is far too early to say United would be running away with it should they win here, it would be a major psychological blow to Mancini's men should they lose.
United will want nothing more than to get one over their rivals on their own turf, as City did to them in the 6-1 trouncing at Old Trafford, but with both teams probably more keen to avoid defeat than go all out for victory, this could end in a low scoring stalemate.
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