Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera is doubtful for the Manchester City derby after a groin injury forced him to miss United’s 1-1 draw against LiverpoolGetty

Manchester United suffered a blow just ahead of their clash against Liverpool after Ander Herrera suffered a suspected groin injury. They drew their second leg Europa League last-16 clash 1-1 but a first leg 2-0 loss at Anfield saw them being dumped out of the second tier European competition on a 3-1 aggregate. The loss to their arch rivals has worsened their chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season, as they are four points behind fourth placed Manchester City, whom they face at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday (20 March).

The Spanish midfielder has been a regular in the United squad this season and was likely to start alongside Michael Carrick but a groin injury on the day of the game meant Marouane Fellaini got the nod to face the Merseyside club. Louis van Gaal confirmed that Herrera was part of the squad but was omitted at the last minute to avoid the risk of aggravating the injury.

"He is injured. He was in the squad but we did not want to risk him too much," Van Gaal said, as quoted on United's official site. The midfielder is now rated as doubtful for their game against neighbours City on Sunday due to the close proximity of the two games but Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was again used as a substitute, is likely to get the nod from the start after the manager admitted the German was still not fully match fit to play more than 45 minutes of football against the Reds.

The Red Devils' injury crisis is easing and they should have all players except long-term absentees Luke Shaw and Will Keane back training with the first team following the upcoming international break. Ashley Young and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have already returned to training and should be available for their clash against Everton on 3 April.