Derby have not enjoyed a great run since the turn of the new calendar year. They have only one win in the five matches played in 2016 and that victory came in the third round of the FA Cup against Hartlepool United.

Paul Clement will be hoping the home supporters can play as the 12th man when Derby take on the Red Devils on Friday.

A victory over the Premier League giants will be a big upset in the competition and it will also keep them alive in the FA Cup.

United enter this fixture after a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton in the last league fixture at Old Trafford.

The Saints’ January signing Charlie Austin’s header in the final quarter was the difference between the two sides as the pressure is mounting on Louis van Gaal.

Paul Clement: “What a challenge, to play one of arguably the biggest clubs in world football. It’s clear they’re not having the best time themselves at the moment, but it’s an opportunity
for two teams to come together and put in a performance.

It’s going to be nice to put ourselves up against a very good side with world class players, and a fantastic coach in Van Gaal.”

Louis van Gaal: “You make your stories and people believe it. I am concerned they are believing it. You can write what you do. It is the third time I am sacked and I am still sitting here.

Now I cannot lose any more — then for the fourth time I have been sacked.”


Friday’s match will be the 104th meeting between the sides, the most recent of which resulted in the Reds progressing to the sixth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 4-1 win in 2008/09.

Our only defeat to Derby in the Premier League era came earlier that season, a 1-0 loss in the League Cup. United have a favourable record against the Rams, coming out on top in 44 per cent of the previous meetings, and will be favourites again this time around.

Latest team news

Louis van Gaal is expected to give an update on Matteo Darmian in his pre-match press conference, after the defender was forced off against Southampton.

It is still unclear whether or not injured quartet Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger are fit to return. Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw remain long-term absentees.

Derby County

Possible XI: Carson; Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Warnock; Thorne, Butterfield, Johnson; Ince, Blackman, Martin

Manchester United

Possible XI: De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Schneiderlin, Herrera; Pereira, Mata, Martial; Rooney