Date: 8th February 2008 at 5:12pm
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It’s a special derby day, this one. As it is the 50th anniversary of the Munich tragedy, both teams will wear special kits without sponsorship logos and a minute’s silence will precede the game.

This is certain – what is uncertain is how we will cope with the loss of Rooney and Evra. Both serve one-match bans due to accumulation of yellow cards, meaning that Fergie will probably have to play O’Shea on the left and Tevez alone up front, Nani, Giggs and Ronaldo supporting him.

The big news is that Gary Neville could make his long-awaited comeback. He’s shaken off his latest injuries and according to the reports, ready to play. He won’t start, surely, but a place on the bench is not out of the question – after 11 months absence.

Fortunately, this week’s international matches provided no fresh injuries and though Saha is not ready to return yet, we have a reasonably strong squad for the visit of a Manchester City side who look very tired and deflated after an impressive first few months. And no, I will not rehearse the now-old pun of burst balloons.