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United welcome City to Old Trafford Tuesday

Last time in front of the home crowd, United defeated Olympiakos 3-0.
Last time in front of the home crowd, United defeated Olympiakos 3-0.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

There could be some notable absentees in the Manchester Derby on Tuesday.

First-year Manchester United manager David Moyes would not confirm the status of central defenders Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling or Rio Ferdinand.

Meanwhile, City manager Manuel Pellegrini ruled out Sergio Aguero and Matija Nastasic for the citizens. Aguero is easily the most notable name and City have not always been at their best without him.

There is good news for the blue side of Manchester as center back Vincent Kompany will return after his one-match ban.

United are on a two-match run having defeated Olympiakos and West Ham without conceding a goal. But has so often been the case this season, when Moyes and his side take steps forward, they go crashing backwards soon after.

Moyes knows that has to change, especially if he wants to stay in charge for very long.

“We want to try and perform better in the bigger games than what we have done,” he said. “It will be important for us to show the level of what we have got.”

City, meanwhile, haven’t lost in their last eight trips away from the Etihad. The Citizens are fresh off a 5-0 drubbing of Fulham and are in a dead heat for the Premier League title.

Still, Pellegrini is hesitant to declare his side favorites at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

“I don’t think we are favorites in any game,” Pellegrini said.

“We are in a good moment, but we are playing against a big team in their own stadium, so I don’t think we are favorites.”

It is notable that Manchester City have won their last two times at Old Trafford while United have failed to win in their last two home league games.

United know they’ll need an effort from players such as Wayne Rooney, who has scored five goals against the crosstown rivals in the last five games against City, if they are to get anything out of the contest.