What will the formation be?
In his four Manchester derbies Jose Mourinho has used 4-2-3-1 twice and 4-3-3 twice. The two defeats came in the former formation and that ought to be enough of an incentive to eschew the 4-2-3-1 that suited United in their win over Swansea last week.
The two-man midfield system is perfect against the Premier League fodder, as United demonstrated in August and September when they won their six matches in it. The only mishap at Stoke was with the addition of a third midfielder, an excessive show of respect to a team still mired in the relegation quagmire.
For all the misgivings about Mourinho's approach, he has attempted to be bold in United's top six encounters, beating Tottenham with two strikers and Liverpool with two midfielders. A third is essential against conductors like Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva, though.
Does Herrera come back in?
Even in a fitful season Ander Herrera's importance was still apparent when Mourinho picked him ahead of Paul Pogba in Seville in February.
Herrera lasted 17 minutes that evening, having missed the previous three matches with a muscular injury, and has handled his recovery more carefully in the wake of that brief Champions League appearance.
Herrera has started the last three derbies after he was dubiously omitted from the XI for Mourinho and Pep Guardiola's first Manchester encounter.
His impact as a half-time substitution in that match was lauded as 'phenomenal' by Mourinho and Guardiola was moved to alter his tactics.
The Spanish midfielder recently mentioned his three fondest memories at United are the spring 2015 defeats of Liverpool and City, as well as the Europa League final. Herrera was superb in all three and his big game prowess extends beyond those fixtures.
His return last week may give him the edge over Scott McTominay but Herrera has not started a Premier League match since New Year's Day.
Is Bailly recalled?
Mourinho showed adventure with his selection of Victor Lindelof against Swansea, citing the Swede's ability to venture into midfield.
Lindelof enjoyed one of his most accomplished performances and his possible demotion at the Etihad would be undeserved, if understandable.
Eric Bailly is United's standout centre half and was colossal in the goalless draw at City 12 months ago.
United's interest in acquiring full-backs and another central defender is to bolster Bailly and the Ivory Coast international has only started one game with Lindelof; in a back three at CSKA Moscow back in September.
Chris Smalling also started that evening but Mourinho has not used a back three since the December 2 triumph at Arsenal.
Bailly was excellent at City last season
Who starts in attack with Lukaku and Sanchez?
The neverending quandary 4-3-3 poses for United is who starts on the right?
Juan Mata has played some of his best football there for United but has started just one top six fixture this term - in a 4-2-3-1 against Liverpool last month.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are so uncomfortable there Mourinho created a new position (mid-left) to accommodate both of them in the Newcastle win.
Jesse Lingard is undroppable on current form and merits inclusion but does more damage in a central role. Whether it is Fabian Delph, Oleksandr Zinchenko or Aymeric Laporte, City's auxiliary left-back is vulnerable.
Can Mourinho repeat his City masterclass?
Mourinho's last win at City came over four years ago and remains one of his finest away days.
The innovative use of David Luiz in a midfield three with Nemanja Matic and Ramires was inspired and Chelsea hit the woodwork three times after Branislav Ivanovic rifled in the winner.
It was a complete display without an ideal figurehead.
That was the season Chelsea chased Wayne Rooney and ended up with Samuel Eto'o, whose age was sardonically questioned by Mourinho.
Even with the ageing Eto'o up front, Chelsea dominated at the Etihad and a similar approach should not be dismissed with the more expensively assembled United squad.