Derby defensive quandary for Moyes

Last Updated: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 08:41

David Moyes must decide whether to bring back Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra for Manchester United's derby against City on Tuesday.

The Red Devils' chief was forced to play midfielder Michael Carrick and Phil Jones as a makeshift central defensive pairing in Saturday evening's 2-0 win at West Ham.

And with the duo impressing in keeping a clean sheet, Moyes could be tempted to stick with them despite City's attack carrying significantly more threat than that of the Hammers at the weekend.

Therefore Ferdinand could return to partner Jones with Carrick moving back into midfield, while veteran left-back Evra is also poised to return having been rested at Upton Park.

Moyes said: "Michael did great at centre-half. He's played there before so it wasn't a problem. We even considered putting Marouane Fellaini back there as well, so I think we've got people who can do that if we have to.

"We gave Pat a rest but, if we have to, I think we can put him there as well and he would cope manfully. It was great that the squad mucked in and that's the way it should be, when you are short in areas and it's all hands to the pumps. We were short on Saturday and Michael certainly played really well."

Skipper Nemanja Vidic is still suspended, while Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling continue to be struggling with respective calf and hamstring problems.

Robin van Persie is missing for the next six weeks because of a knee injury so Moyes will hope Juan Mata can impress in a more central role against City at Old Trafford as he did on Saturday.

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