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David Silva a doubt for the Manchester derby

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Manchester City will likely be without playmaker David Silva for Sunday's Manchester derby at the Etihad.

Laurence Griffiths

Manchester United have a UEFA Champions League fixture on Wednesday night but because that game is inconsequential for them (it's a vital one, though, for opponents CFR Cluj) due to the top spot in their group already having been clinched, most of the focus this week is on Sunday's upcoming Manchester derby. During Roberto Mancini's press conference ahead of Manchester City's Champions League clash at Borussia Dortmund, the manager revealed that playmaker David Silva is out for the tie in Germany and that he's also a doubt for the derby.

"It's a hamstring. We don't know if he [Silva] can recover for the derby. We will try."

- Mancini | Source: FIFA.com

The silkly Silva was scintillating against United last season, particularly during the 1-6 nightmare at Old Trafford, and this would obviously be a big blow for the 'noisy neighbours' as the Spaniard is arguably his side's best creator of chances (2.8 chances created per game in league this season). Mancini uses various systems and he's more than willing to change between them during the course of a match. Silva's role, typically, is to drift inside from an initial wide position while floating in the space between the opposition's midfield and defensive lines. Samir Nasri often plays a similar role on the opposite side of the pitch and these two playmakers interchange frequently. If Silva is out, Mancini could opt to use Mario Balotelli as a wide forward opposite of Nasri or the industrious James Milner could be tasked to a flank. United, of course, have their own injury concerns as well as the in-form Anderson will miss the derby due to his own hamstring injury.