Wayne Rooney is set to return to the Manchester United line-up for Monday evening’s Manchester Derby at Old Trafford.
The England striker returned from international duty with a groin strain that kept him out of last weekend’s win over Sunderland, as well as the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea 48 hours later.
Rafael is also in contention to feature having been substituted after half an hour at the Stadium of Light, while both Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic have a 50/50 chance of playing.
Victory would see United move eighteen points clear of City, with just twenty-one left to play for.
Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Phil Jones to be a key player for the club for many years to come.
The 21 year old has had limited game time this season due to a series of injuries, but the United boss told Inside United that “his talent is unbelievable”, stating that he can play anywhere on the park.
Elsewhere, the club have been linked with a move for highly rated Egyptian midfielder Saleh Gomaa.
The 19 year old, who plays for Cairo side ENPPI, recently played in the Africa Cup of Nations, and could be set for a trial with the club according to reports.