City XI - Pogba In, De Bruyne Out?

City XI - Pogba In, De Bruyne Out?

This weekend will mark the biggest clash of the season yet in the English Premier League.

But Fernandinho still thinks United will be formidable opponents for City, who are bidding to extend their eight-point lead at the top of the table. On the other hand, a Manchester United victory would reduce that margin to just 5 points. More importantly, it will show the entire league that City can be beaten despite being at full strength.

United will be without Paul Pogba and while much has been made of this, I don't see it as a major setback for Mourinho. The Belgian midfielder is a vital cog in Mourinho's squad and in the absence of Paul Pogba, who begins his three match suspension after his straight red against Arsenal, his return will be crucial.

United do believe they have finally got to the root of the hamstring problem which has plagued the France worldwide on and off for the last couple of years.

Manchester United this weekend will be the next side to take up the challenge and may have a little more in their arsenal than the majority of City's opponents thus far in a 2017-2018 season littered with glittering successes. City had won their previous 20 games in all competitions, many of them convincingly.

"Even if I'm not there, I will be there giving them energy". There will be a big atmosphere in the stadium.

It's an intriguing fixture which will test both managers and a game which may well answer the one outstanding question about City.

To take the next step, a win in this game is absolutely crucial and I've had a feeling all week that Mourinho might just get what he and all the other title hopefuls want.

As I've said, this was proof for him that his players are on the same page as he is and that was certainly reason for him to be very satisfied with progress.

The Red Devils will welcome their bitter rivals to the Theatre of Dreams following a 2-1 win against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

City eventually finished third as United trailed home in sixth place, but Mourinho could reflect on the season with greater satisfaction after leading his team to a League Cup and Europa League double.

Fellaini, on the other hand, has been a more short-term problem having missed just the last three games owing to a recurrence of a knee injury he picked up while on worldwide duty.

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