Silva doubtful but Aguero, Jesus ready for Manchester derby - Guardiola

"The future is a big surgery and a long period of recovering".

The last time these two sides met on a Thursday in the Premier League was in November 1994, with Manchester United winning 5-0 thanks to an Andrei Kanchelskis hat-trick.

"It is going to be the game of the season", the United midfielder said with relish. "I will rotate the players again, I will rest some players again At least in terms of expectation for the game, the emotions, it is better a derby with one point difference than with four".

He might just have the edge this time round, with United having finally reeled in the top four after a 23-match unbeaten run in the league dating back to a 4-0 loss at Chelsea on October 23.

In that very same game, Rashford rose to the occasion and scored the all-important goal that sealed United's progression to the final four.

"Is it make-or-break? Probably". We played to win, we were better, but we didn't win, so congratulations to Arsenal. "Us or them. It is going to be key".

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes that a reduced focus on the rivalry between himself and Pep Guardiola is the "correct" approach ahead of tomorrow's derby at Manchester City.

Early outside estimates have suggested he will be sidelined for nine to 12 months.

"This is about the clubs, the teams, this is about the positions in the end of the season".

After selling Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Man United aren't littered with options and the obvious player to step in is Marouane Fellaini - a player who Mourinho has placed a lot of faith in this year.

"I work hard in training, and I just have to wait and get my chance, as I did against Burnley".

The Swede's contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season and his future at Old Trafford has been thrown into doubt by a serious knee injury.

Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera are both doubts for Thursday, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rojo, Juan Mata, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, and James Wilson are all out, according to Physioroom.com.

Mata scored the victor when the teams met in the League Cup fourth round in October.

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker already stated that he will not retire following his knee injury and Mourinho has now also backed the attacker to overcome his physical problems, although he does not know whether Ibrahimovic will stay at United.

  • Julie Sanders