It’s out of the international break’s frying pan and into the Manchester derby’s fire for United and City, who clash for the first time this season at Old Trafford a week on Saturday. However, one man who won’t be involved is City’s star striker Sergio Agüero, who has been charged with violent conduct by the FA for an elbow he committed on West Ham defender Winston Reid over the weekend.
Agüero has until 6pm today to lodge an appeal, though given that the suspension has been applied retroactively — referee Andre Marriner apparently did not see the incident live, meaning it is an FA panel that has made the decision — it is difficult to envisage the decision being overturned.
Wilfried Bony and Kelechi Iheanacho are the only pure strikers who could replace Agüero, though it is easy to imagine Pep Guardiola creatively reshuffling his pack and playing a nominal midfielder up top at Old Trafford. José Mourinho’s tactical masterplan will have to keep all bases covered.