Man City v Man United preview
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The home side have no new injury worries to contend with and even welcome unpredictable striker Paulo Wanchope back into the fold after he made a reserve team appearance against Bury in midweek.
The Costa Rica international once scored a famous solo goal against United in his Derby County days but is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench on Sunday.
The Premiership Plus fixture is an ideal opportunity for Kevin Keegan's side to exact some revenge for their 4-2 FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford, when Gary Neville was sent off following a fracas with Steve McManaman.
Neville is consequently suspended for the Eastlands game, piling more defensive woes on manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Rio Ferdinand is suspended and Quinton Fortune is injured, while Mikael Silvestre, who was being lined up for a return against Porto, is believed to have suffered a setback in his fight for fitness.
It would have ensured another outing for Keane, suspended for the Porto draw, as a makeshift centre back but the Irishman has been ruled out with a hamstring strain.
With another of Ferguson's options, fielding Eric Djemba-Djemba at right back, scuppered by the Cameroon international jetting off for a game with Congo after discovering he had not broken a rib.
It means either Danny Pugh or Mark Lynch could be fielded at full back with John O'Shea partnering Wes Brown in the centre of defence.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a chief tormentor of City in the Cup success, is hoping to recover from the injury that saw him stretchered off in the UEFA Champions League and there must still be doubts over Louis Saha's fitness as the Frenchman started in midweek on the bench.