Sir Alex Ferguson's side goes to the Etihad three points clear of Roberto Mancini's Premier League champion, which will want to pick itself up after a dismal Champions League exit.
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Nasri, Y Toure, Silva
Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
Valencia, Rooney, Young
Manchester City's main injury problems lie in defence, but Gael Clichy (ankle) is set to return for the Premier League champion, with fellow left back Aleksandar Kolarov (groin) also close to full fitness.
James Milner (hamstring) and Micah Richards (knee) are likely to miss out for the home side, while Jack Rodwell (hamstring) should be available for selection for Roberto Mancini. David Silva (hamstring) is a worry for the hosts, and could be replaced by Javi Garcia in the center for a more defensive formation.
The visitors have injury problems in midfield, with Anderson (hamstring) likely to miss the festive period after picking up a knock against Reading, and Tom Cleverley (calf) also a doubt.
Antonio Valencia (thigh) and Nemanja Vidic (knee) could both be available for selection, although it remains to be seen whether Sir Alex Ferguson will risk his Serbian captain after a second long spell out.
Nani (hamstring) is almost certainly out of the game, while Shinji Kagawa (knee) could take a place on the bench after time on the sidelines.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The first meeting between Manchester City and Manchester United - or West Gordon and Newton Heath as they were formerly known - ended in a 3-0 victory for the latter in 1881.
- Manchester City has been awarded 21 penalties in the last three seasons - the joint-most in the Premier League alongside United.
- Wayne Rooney's penalty against Reading in the 4-3 victory last weekend was United's 1000th Premier League goal this century.
- United has recovered 21 points from losing positions this season in the Premier League - more than any other side in the division.
- Carlos Tevez (pictured, right) has played for both Manchester clubs - he joined City in 2009 after spending two seasons on loan at United.
- Robin van Persie is joint-top scorer in the league, with 10 goals alongside Demba Ba, Michu and Luis Suarez. City's top scorer is Carlos Tevez with seven.
- Sir Matt Busby and Steve Coppell both played for City before managing United, with the former leading the Reds to their first ever European Cup in 1968.
- United has won 1-0 against City three times in its last six Premier League games at the Etihad.
- 2006 was the last year there was more than one goal scored in a league fixture between the two with City as host, with the home side winning 3-1.