Manchester United visit the daunting Etihad Stadium this Sunday to face arch-rivals Manchester City in what can be defined as one of the most stories rivalries of the sporting arena.
The Red Devils will have a tough task on their hands as they aim to avoid a third successive league defeat to Roberto Mancini and co. and with the team facing an unwanted injury crisis, Sir Alex Ferguson will without doubt need to make some tough choices regarding his starting eleven.
Hence, what follows is IBTimes’ list of three players that Fergie shouldn’t start with against the Sky Blues.
Rafael Da Silva
His substitution around the half-hour mark in United’s 4-3 win over Reading last weekend was just a testament to the claims of Rafael Da Silva being more of a highly-overrated full-backs who is clearly not blessed with the art of defending.
A menace growing up front, Rafael is often found guilty of leaving gaps at the back, that could be thoroughly exploited by City’s possible left-flank duo of Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta on Sunday.
Hence, it is fair enough to say that Rafael should be benched against City, in favour of Phil Jones or Chris Smalling, two players who have admirably performed their defensive duties when deployed at the right-back position.
With both Anderson and Tom Cleverley ruled out for the Manchester derby, Alex Ferguson might consider Paul Scholes to partner Michael Carrick in the centre of the park.
Although he might be the best passer in the United team, but Scholes, like Rafael, is often criticized for not tracking back to help out his defensive teammates and committing rash tackles under pressure.
Moreover, he will definitely struggle to keep up with the pace of players like Silva*, Toure and Nasri and with most of City’s attacks coming from the centre of the pitch due to the lack of true wingers in the team, Scholes could endure a tasking game come Sunday.
(* Silva’s participation in the Manchester Derby is a big doubt as the Spaniard has picked up a hamstring injury and has no specified date of return as per PhysioRoom)
Ryan Giggs has been included for perhaps the similar reason as Paul Scholes. Coming against a motivated City side that will include crafty and pacey stars, Giggs will just not be able to fit into the game.
The Welshman has looked way out of sort this season, indicating his legendary football career is entering the twilight days, and like his long-term teammate, will restrict United’s play to a large extent.688348