Manchester Derby Preview: Ferdinand out for United

Lunch time kick off sees the 45th Manchester Derby

Lunch time kick off sees the 45th Manchester Derby

The lunch time kick off today sees Manchester United welcome bitter rivals Manchester City to Old Trafford for the 45th Manchester Derby.

Alex Ferguson will be without England Captain Rio Ferdinand as he is ruled out with a calf injury, so Chris Smalling will partner Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the United defence.

United have a fully fit squad to choose from, with Hernandez being the only possible absentee as he returned home late from International duty.

It will be interesting to see what midfield personnel Ferguson will choose to play, with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Anderson, and Michael Carrick all fit, and vying for places.

Nigel De Jong is the main injury concern for Roberto Mancini as he is still nursing an ankle injury, so Pablo Zabaleta is likely to continue to his role as holding midfielder.

Micah Richards is expected to be fit for selection should Mancini recall the defender, while Shaun Wright Philips may be a surprise inclusion in midfield to give City some extra pace.

Carloz Tevez did not feature for Argentina midweek, and the Manchester City Captain is expected to lead the Manchester City attack as a lone striker, with Balotelli and Dzeko expected to start from the bench.

With United losing points last week in their shock defeat to Manchester City, the Premiership race could be blown wide open today should City claim the three points.

United will miss Ferdinand at the back, especially should Mancini call upon Dzeko who could be handful for Vidic and Smalling in the air.

Carlos Tevez no doubt will be fired up for this encounter, and you can expect the former Manchester United hero to expect a fiery reception when he leads out Manchester City.

Kick-off is at 12:45.

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