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Mail: Bravo set for baptism of fire?

As you’d expect, this morning’s headlines are dominated by the imminent Manchester derby clash which has certainly captured the imagination of the world’s press.

The managerial battle, the player head-to-heads and team selection dominate the back pages – though we’ll swerve the all-too predictable digs at the Blues from former United players.

Let’s kick off with the Mail, who believe Pep Guardiola has a selection headache for this weekend.

They write: “Claudio Bravo could be thrown into the heat of a Manchester derby less than 48 hours after training with his new team-mates for the first time.

“The City goalkeeper, a £17million signing from Barcelona two weeks ago, is yet to practise with the rest of Guardiola’s squad after arriving at the club during the international break.

“And Sportsmail understands that City’s player-friendly manager, in a bid to allow his men extra recovery time after travelling with their national sides, has moved Thursday’s slot from 10.30am to 4pm.

“That means Bravo, who has been working in the gym following his arrival in Manchester, would have just two sessions with his new defence should he make his debut at Old Trafford.

“With former No 1 Joe Hart on loan at Torino and Bravo short on training time, Guardiola could opt to continue with Willy Caballero.”

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It’s highly likely Pep knows exactly who will play in goal at Old Trafford and has done for a while, but we’ll have to wait and see…

United have their own reported selection issues ahead of Saturday with the IB Times reporting Luke Shaw is battling to be fit after withdrawing from England duty last week.

They report: “Shaw remains hopeful he can make himself available for the Red Devils' upcoming clash against Manchester City.

“The left-back was withdrawn from England's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia after he complained of an ache in the leg he broke last season. He suffered a horror injury in the Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven last September, which kept him out of action for the rest of the previous campaign.”

Reuters continue the derby build-up with a general overview: “A clash between supposedly the two most expensive line-ups in history overseen by two of the most decorated coaches will end the phoney war and ignite the Premier League season for real when Manchester United host Manchester City on Saturday.

“Jose Mourinho's United and City, under the command of his old adversary Pep Guardiola, have enjoyed 100 percent starts as tens of millions of pounds worth of summer buys bed in.

“But much more will be known about their title-winning credentials when the final whistle sounds on the lunchtime kick-off at Old Trafford.

“From the moment the fixture list was published in June, the continuation of the often frosty and occasionally volatile Mourinho-Guardiola rivalry has been eagerly-anticipated.

“The chance to land an early blow in the first seismic clash of the season will be irresistible.”

And finally…

With journos up and down the land determined to focus on the managers this Saturday (imagine the banks of cameras aimed in their direction as they take their place on the benches), the Express have attempted to diffuse the situation, somewhat.

They reckon once the game is over, a hand of friendship will be offered as they write: “Both managers will meet at Old Trafford as they attempt to keep their unbeaten Premier League campaigns intact.

“But after the match Mourinho hopes to sit down with Guardiola for a glass of wine.

“The report claims the Portuguese boss has invited his long-standing rival to his office for a drink as the United man is keen to keep up the tradition Sir Alex Ferguson maintained during his reign.”

That’s all for the today’s round-up – more of the same tomorrow…

Men's Team

Things We Love: #ManchesterDerby Special

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There’s a distinct derby day flavour to this week’s offering of the best the web has had to offer in the last seven days.

With news outlets across the globe making even the most tenuous of links with Saturday’s Mancunian showdown, there’s plenty to go at, so without any further ado…

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United v City: Opposition scouting report

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It’s been a strong start to the Premier League campaign on both sides of Manchester, with City and United taking all nine points available to them.

As the eyes of the footballing world turn to Old Trafford for Saturday’s 172nd Manchester Derby, we preview what City must be wary of when they play Jose Mourinho’s men.

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Derby Icons: Vincent Kompany

DERBY SPIRIT: Vincent Kompany

As we build-up to the 172nd Manchester derby, ManCity.com examines some of the sky blue icons from the fixture in years gone by…

In the third of our series looking at Manchester derby heroes of recent times, we recall Vincent Kompany's crucial winner in 2012