Ferdinand reveals how many Man Utd players would get into City lineup as tide starts to turn

Pundit Rio Ferdinand Credit: Alamy
Pundit Rio Ferdinand Credit: Alamy

There are six players in the Manchester United squad who would be capable of starting for their rivals Man City on current form, according to Rio Ferdinand.

The Manchester derby is due to take place on Saturday lunchtime. Four points separate the two rivals in the Premier League table going into the match, with City in second place and United in fourth.

However, United have won all six of their matches in all competitions since the World Cup. In contrast, City have won four of their six games, most recently losing to Southampton in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.

Therefore, there is a feeling that Erik ten Hag has United on track to cut the distance with their neighbours, who have won four of the past five Premier League titles.

And ex-United player Rio Ferdinand feels several members of Ten Hag’s squad could now match their counterparts.

Speaking to The Sun, Ferdinand named six players who would have a chance of getting into City’s team.

The former defender said: “On form, Marcus Rashford would have to be in the team.

“Christian Eriksen would be in with a shout. Bruno Fernandes would be in with a shout. Casemiro or Rodri is a massive one in terms of form, the two best holding midfielders in the league.

“Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane would have an argument to get in the team as well. So you could put a good case forward.

“Definitely, the distance is a bit closer. But it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There is still work to be done.

“The fact you can have an argument over four or five players getting into the team, or to have a conversation about it at least, is a step in the right direction.

“But, let’s not get it twisted. City are way ahead of where Man Utd are.”

Ferdinand expects Man Utd to compete with City

Despite City still being in a better position than United, Ferdinand feels that Ten Hag’s team can give their rivals a game on Saturday.

He added: “I’m going into this derby thinking, ‘We can give them a game’.

“You can see players gaining in confidence. For far too long we were going into games thinking, ‘Obviously, we are going to get beat here today but I don’t know how many’.

“Or we were going to the likes of Brentford and concede one and it could be three or four.

“When we have been feeling that as Man Utd fans, it is now nice going to games not feeling like that.

“I am now going to a game not looking through my fingers, expecting crazy s going on. I am going there now with a bit of, ‘I fancy us today, I fancy us to beat them and dominate the ball’, because you can see something tactically that has been consistently coming out every week now.

“We have got to play at our best and hope that they drop a little bit off it to win the game. But that is better than how I’ve gone into games in recent seasons.”

The first derby this season was a 6-3 win for City, who were four goals to the good by half time. That was back in October, so it will be interesting to see how things have changed since.

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