- Manchester United travel to Manchester City on Thursday knowing a victory would see them climb above their city rivals in the Premier League table. Having spent a large part of the season flitting between sixth and fifth in the rankings, Jose Mourinho's men now have two realist...Manchester United travel to Manchester City on Thursday knowing a victory would see them climb above their city rivals in the Premier League table. Having spent a large part of the season flitting between sixth and fifth in the rankings, Jose Mourinho's men now have two realistic avenues into the Champions League next season. 'Rooney has reached the end at Man Utd' United will take on Celta Vigo in the semi-final stage of the Europa League, having overcome Anderlecht in the previous round, with a place in Europe's premier competition secured if they lift the trophy. A top-four finish now looks likely, however. With Liverpool stuttering, United's 23-game unbeaten run has now put them in a position to jump above both their closest rivals into third place. MAN UTD INJURIES United are amidst somewhat of a defensive crisis at present. Marcos Rojo suffered a knee injury during the club's European meeting with Anderlecht, leading to him being stretchered off midway through the first half, and will miss the rest of the season. Fellow central defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are also doubts ahead of Thursday's derby clash, though Mourinho may well be forced into involving one of the two due to their desperate situation. Elsewhere, Juan Mata will also miss out after being ruled out for the season following groin surgery, while Ander Herrera's ankle knock picked up against Burnley may also force him out. Paul Pogba limped off in the 2-0 win over Burnley and could be rested. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not feature again this season having picked up a knee injury during the meeting with Anderlecht. MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS With the latest Premier League yellow card amnesty having passed, both teams are well in the clear when it comes to suspensions. Besides any red cards accrued between now and the season's end, only players who have been booked 15 times over the course of the campaign can now be handed a ban. MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP Ibrahimovic's injury means Rashford will likely continue in a central role up front while Daley Blind is set to remain alongside Eric Bailly in defence. Elsewhere, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini are likely to start in the central midfield positions, should the former overcome his ankle issue, with Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ashley Young in front. MANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS Pep Guardiola's City line ups have been almost impossible to predict during his time at the Etihad, with a number of players taking up unfamiliar roles as part of the Catalan's vision. City expect Sergio Aguero and David Silva to start the derby, having lost both during the club's FA Cup semi-final tie with Arsenal on Sunday. Gabriel Jesus could return to the bench on Thursday, while captain Vincent Kompany is set to start his third game in a row as John Stones recovers from injury. BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS 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. Indeed, the last four league meetings between these two sides at Turf Moor have produced just two goals in total. Jose Mourinho has failed to win any of his last four Premier League games against Manchester City (D2, L2) – this after winning six successive top-flight encounters with the Citizens between December 2005 and February 2014. Pep Guardiola could become the fourth manager to win both home and away Manchester derbies in a debut top-flight season after John Bentley, Sven-Göran Eriksson and Manuel Pellegrini. Aguero has scored eight goals in 10 competitive appearances for Manchester City against Manchester United but has failed to score in his last two games against them. Only Alan Shearer (190) has scored in more different Premier League games than Wayne Rooney (149 – level with Frank Lampard & Andrew Cole). TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME The game at the Etihad kicks off at 20:00 UK time, with live television coverage on Sky Sports 1 in the UK.
- Former Liverpool star Terry McDermott has dismissed the idea that Alex Ferguson's 'mind games' were the catalyst for Newcastle's Premier League unravelling in 1996. McDermott, who won five league titles and three European Cups with the Reds during his playing career, was assista...Former Liverpool star Terry McDermott has dismissed the idea that Alex Ferguson's 'mind games' were the catalyst for Newcastle's Premier League unravelling in 1996. McDermott, who won five league titles and three European Cups with the Reds during his playing career, was assistant to Kevin Keegan during the 1995-96 campaign which saw the Magpies blow a 12-point lead over United to miss out on Premier League glory. Man United star Herrera as good as Kante The Red Devils eventually gained ground on Newcastle and won the league by four points. One of the defining moments of that particular season, which is still referenced over 20 years later, was the rant delivered by Keegan after a win over Leeds United, taking aim at Ferguson, who he said had "gone down in [his] estimation". However, McDermott insists that too much is made of the impassioned broadside, in which the Newcastle boss uttered the infamous line "I will love it if we beat them!" "We were laughing about it. He knew what he was doing, Kevin. He’s no one’s fool, believe me," the former Magpies coach told RTE about Keegan's attack on Ferguson. "He did have a pop and he was a little bit riled but he came on the coach and he was fine. "People make it a lot more than what it was. Fergie mind games? That’s a load of crap." Newcastle finished the season without a trophy and Keegan resigned mid-way through the next campaign, though his side secured a second consecutive runners-up finish that season.
- Manchester United star Marcus Rashford says the benefits of playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be seen for years to come, describing his attacking team-mate as "irreplaceable'. Herrera is as good as Kante The 35-year-old will play no further part for Jose Mourinho's sid...
'You'll see the benefits in years to come' - Rashford reveals Ibrahimovic's huge impact as his mentorManchester United star Marcus Rashford says the benefits of playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be seen for years to come, describing his attacking team-mate as "irreplaceable'. Herrera is as good as Kante The 35-year-old will play no further part for Jose Mourinho's side this season having sustained a knee injury in United's Europa League quarter-final tie against Anderlecht, and will see his current deal at Old Trafford expire in the summer. Speculation surrounding Ibrahimovic's future has linked the striker, who has scored 28 goals this season for United, with a move to MLS, though Rashford believes it will be impossible to replace the Swede. “You will see the benefits in years to come,” he told The Telegraph. “What I have learnt from him is irreplaceable.” “His influence on the younger players, especially, is fantastic. We want that to continue because he is making us into better players. "Now, when I go to the left or right, I see it differently to how I pictured it last season. They are things I didn’t have naturally inside me. I didn’t feel uncomfortable in the wide role, but when something is different it takes a while to get used to it. For me, the development has been going great all the way through. "Next season I think I will have come across most situations that are going to occur.” Rashford, who suffered somewhat of a mini-drought in front of goal until a strike against Sunderland sparked a run of three in five, believes that his role in a wider position will allow him to follow in the footsteps of some of the best in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Neymar have all transformed from the wing to centre-forward in recent years, and 19-year-old Rashford is looking to implement what he has learned to lead United to silverware in future. Martial triggers €10m Monaco clause “You look at all the strikers in the world now, I can only think of two, three who are No 9s – Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suarez,” Rashford said. “Sergio Aguero? You could play him deeper as a No 10. "The qualities a striker needs now are different to what they used to be. When you look in the first team here and there are players who have won 15, 20 trophies, you want to try and live up to that and even exceed what they have done.”
- Manchester City are favourites to beat Manchester United to a top-four spot in the Premier League due to their absence from Europe, claims Jose Mourinho. Champions League hopefuls City and United will clash in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday in another ins...Manchester City are favourites to beat Manchester United to a top-four spot in the Premier League due to their absence from Europe, claims Jose Mourinho. Champions League hopefuls City and United will clash in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday in another installment of Pep Guardiola versus Mourinho. Wenger: Alexis won't join PL rival City – fourth in the table – are only a point ahead of United, who are also juggling Europa League commitments ahead of a semi-final tie against Celta Vigo. And Mourinho heaped pressure on rival Guardiola – who went to Old Trafford and won the reverse game in September – amid United's congested fixture list. "They play now one game a week until the end of the season while we have the [Europa League] semi-finals which are very important for us," Mourinho said. "Obviously to play one match per week brings teams and players to other levels, so it's more difficult for us but we are going to try." Mourinho continued: "It doesn't matter what happens in terms of titles we win or don't win. "I always feel that the season is very important for me, the players and the club. "I would say this can be the first season of the next five or six or seven. It can be the first season of better years. "And the reality is even in the first season of better years we won already [the Community Shield and EFL Cup], and if we manage to win the Europa League and in August to play the European Super Cup against the Champions League winner, it will be magnificent."
- Ander Herrera has revealed that he knew he wanted to join Manchester United the moment he first stepped foot on the Old Trafford turf. The Spanish midfielder took in a meeting with the Red Devils while with Athletic Bilbao in March 2012. He emerged victorious in that Europa Lea...Ander Herrera has revealed that he knew he wanted to join Manchester United the moment he first stepped foot on the Old Trafford turf. The Spanish midfielder took in a meeting with the Red Devils while with Athletic Bilbao in March 2012. He emerged victorious in that Europa League fixture, helping to secure a 3-2 win, but was only too happy to swap sides when the opportunity presented itself two years later. Herrera talks up derby importance Herrera told Unscriptd: "We were all so happy, we were coming to the biggest stadium in England. "The most historic stadium in front of the fans that have seen the best football, a lot of titles a lot of great players. "I remember I saw the rest of the stadium and I thought - I didn't say to anyone - 'must be good to play in front of these fans every weekend'. "And then I played a fantastic game, maybe one of the best in my career and we beat United 3-2 at Old Trafford. "That day I realised one day that was going to happen, I was going to put the red shirt on and enjoy Old Trafford." “And then the next time I played in Old Trafford was already with a red badge playing for United as a United player. Neville picks Man Utd dream team “I remember it was a pre-season game, friendly game against Valencia, a Spanish side, and the feelings were amazing. I was already a United player. After a long summer, waiting for that moment, that moment came and I was playing for United so it was fantastic.” Herrera completed a £29 million move to United after a protracted chase. He quickly settled in English football and has gone from strength to strength with the Red Devils, earning senior international recognition with Spain and plenty of plaudits for the improvement he is made in a game which now has him regarded as one of the finest holding midfielders in the Premier League.