United boss Erik ten Hag will be hoping for a positive result in his first Manchester derby and certainly a huge improvement from last season’s 4-1 reverse for the club at the Etihad, when Ralf Rangnick was interim coach.
Ten Hag’s side have not played a domestic match in four weeks due to fixture postponements and the international break, but are looking to build on four successive league victories. Mirror Football takes a look at all the latest stories coming out of Old Trafford ahead of a huge day for the club.
United squad anger at Ronaldo revealed
The 37-year-old did not make the trip to the Etihad Stadium back in March and his absence raised eyebrows at the time given he was United's top goalscorer. Ralf Rangnick claimed that Ronaldo was injured, while other reports suggested he was completely dropped from the Red Devils squad.
United were struggling for form ahead of the clash with the reigning Premier League champions, having previously drawn against Atletico Madrid and Watford. They needed a win to reignite their campaign but questions were raised when Ronaldo was not included in the Red Devils' 18-man contingent.
Ten Hag identifies De Gea successor
It comes little over a month after the United boss ripped into De Gea after his side's humiliating four-goal loss at Brentford, describing the Spaniard’s decision-making as "naive" and a key reason behind the embarrassing collapse. De Gea, 31, has retained his place in the starting line-up but it is understood Ten Hag is keen on signing a long-term replacement next summer.
De Gea is out of contract at United next summer while the futures of Dean Henderson – whose loan spell at Nottingham Forest expires next year – and Martin Dubravka – who joined United on a season-long loan deal from Newcastle this summer – also remain unclear.
Ten Hag opens up on Man United sales pitch
Ten Hag goes into his first Manchester derby having to come up with a plan to stop in-form striker Erling Haaland after the free-scoring Norwegian star claimed during the week that joining United never even came into his thinking when he left Borussia Dortmund this summer.