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Manchester City vs Manchester United

Henderson to start in Manchester derby as De Gea absent following birth of his first child

13:20 GMT 05/03/2021
Dean Henderson David de Gea
The England goalkeeper will keep his place for the meeting at the Etihad Stadium, with De Gea having been allowed to travel to Spain

Dean Henderson will start in the Manchester derby as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that David de Gea will be given "as much time as he needs" after the birth of his first child.

De Gea missed the game against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night after he requested to fly back to Spain to be with his partner Edurne for the birth of the couple's child, Yanay.

The Spaniard will remain with his family for the time being, with Henderson set to make his fourth league appearance of the season as United look to try and end City’s impressive 21-match winning run.

What's been said?

Solskjaer gave an update on De Gea’s availability on Friday, telling reporters: "It’s a fantastic day for David. When you become a dad that’s probably the best possible feeling you can have.

"I’ll give him the time he needs before he comes back, he asked to go home and in the old world that’s a day and you come back and you’re ready again.

"But now we’re in a pandemic and the quarantine [requirements] of course it’s a different world but still, we felt it was right. David wanted to be there and support his girlfriend and there wasn’t even a decision to make. Dean came in and played well and he’s ready, so I’ll give David the time he needs."

When are Man Utd expecting De Gea back?

Solskjaer would not give a timeframe regarding a return date for De Gea and the goalkeeper will have to abide by the government’s Covid-19 restrictions. Travellers arriving from countries not on a red list are required to quarantine for 10 days. This can be cut to five if the person has a private Covid test after five days of quarantine and returns a negative test. It is understood De Gea is not exempt from quarantine because he did not travel for elite sport reasons. 

The Norwegian added on the matter: "As soon as David travels back we just have to follow the rules. I expect him to be available very soon, not too far from now.

"We allowed him to go back because he wanted to be there with his girlfriend. We want our players back as soon as possible but there’s a human being in there that we have to look after and David was there for this fantastic day for him and his girlfriend and their family.

"I don’t know when he’ll be back, it won’t be long but Dean did well against Palace and I’m sure he’s looking forward to the City game as well. He’s had that experience already this season in the Carabao Cup so that stands him in good stead."

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