The controversial Argentine faces his former side in the crucial Premier League derby at the Etihad Stadium, while Jonny Evans is unable to make the visitors' XI
The Argentine continues his run in the team following his return from a controversial absence, maintaining his partnership up front with countryman Sergio Aguero.
Mario Balotelli, whom manager Roberto Mancini had previously hinted would not play again this season, makes the bench on his first match after his three-game suspension for a red card against Arsenal.
Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, opts for one up front with Wayne Rooney leading the line. Veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs populate the centre of midfield alongside Michael Carrick, with Ji-Sung Park and Nani included at the expense of Antonio Valencia.
Jonny Evans had been expected to make the United team despite struggling with an injury but the Northern Ireland international misses out, with Chris Smalling understood to be partnering Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence.
Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young join Valencia, Chicharito and Dimitar Berbatov on an attacking away bench.
Manchester City starting XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Nasri, Barry, Y Toure; Silva; Tevez, Aguero
Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Kolarov, De Jong, Milner, Balotelli, Dzeko
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra; Nani, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Park; Rooney
Subs: Amos, Rafael, Valencia, Young, Berbatov, Welbeck, Chicharito