The Red Devils finally return to Premier League action this weekend following the international break and the postponements before it, and they will be desperate to build on the progress they managed before the pause in the club calendar.
Erik ten Hag has won the Premier League’s Manager of the Month award for September, but the clash with City will be a real litmus test of this team’s potential.
City have been in excellent form to start the season, and in Erling Haaland, they have an almost unstoppable force up top.
United have weapons of their own, but they do have a key absentee in Maguire, even if the centre-back hasn’t been a regular starter of late.
And there are also some concerns elsewhere, with Ten Hag saying in his pre-match press conference: “The situation is, Harry Maguire is injured.
“I think, for the rest, we have some doubts with Anthony Martial, but he was training all week with the group. But I’m really happy with that situation. [Marcus] Rashford returns, Brandon Williams is not available.”
Maguire has been heavily criticised for his performances of late, both with England and United, but Ten Hag is backing the defender to bounce back.
“First of all, I have to coach him,” explained the Dutchman. “I back him because I believe in him. I worked with him in pre-season and it was really good in training and games. But it’s about the centre-backs playing really well right now.
“The quality is there. You see his career, he has more than 40 caps with England. He has high potential, and then it is about him. The players in the dressing room, the coaches, the manager, we all believe in him.
“That is what I have told him. I’m sure he can do it. He can turn it around. I’m sure of that.”