If you're asking me how many Manchester United
players would get into this Manchester City team, I'd have to say none. They'd even struggle to get a few representatives on the bench.
So if United are to get a result at Old Trafford, what is required is a total team performance. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side compete at anywhere near the level they did at Everton
, then they could be in for a mauling.
It says a lot that the 4-0 scoreline at Goodison Park actually flattered United a little. They need to restore some pride when they face City, especially after the way in which Paul Pogba
dug out his fellow players after the Everton defeat.
UNITED SQUAD TO FACE CITY
David de Gea, Sergio Romero, Lee Grant, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian, Diogo Dalot, Chris Smallng, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial
The midfielder said in an interview their performance was 'disrespectful'. That's a big word to use. To me, that's him admitting the players did not try. He's not just saying they were useless — he's saying they didn't give it their all to get something out of the game.
Now they need to show a reaction, Pogba included. Naturally there is a great deal of attention on what this game might mean for the title race but United cannot get bogged down by that.
They have to focus on themselves and their own race for the top four.
Forget about City and Liverpool. It's Arsenal and Chelsea who you should be concentrating on. Those two clubs left the door open for United by failing to win over the weekend.
It has left Solskjaer's side with a chance of sneaking fourth, but they need to start by beating City.
How do they do that? They can't go toe to toe. I know some United fans would want that, because that's what they've grown up seeing over the years, but I don't think they can beat this City team that way. They're not at that level, either in confidence or ability.
They will have to stay compact, keep things tight, pick their moments to attack and use their pace, just like Tottenham did with Son Heung-min against City on Saturday.
Solskjaer could use Marcus Rashford in a similar way. Son had several big chances to score but Ederson was in fine form. United should use that as a template for how to tackle this game. Trying to go toe to toe would be foolish bravery.