Manchester City could play Kevin De Bruyne up front at Man United

Manchester City will be without five injured players for Sunday's derby at Manchester United, with manager Manuel Pellegrini considering starting midfielder Kevin De Bruyne at centre-forward.

Pellegrini, who is without injured top scorer Sergio Aguero, is considering whether to play without a specialist striker -- and De Bruyne has said he would be willing to play up front.

City secured victory against Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday after centre-forward Wilfried Bony had been substituted and attacking midfielders De Bruyne and Yaya Toure moved further forward.

Even without Samir Nasri and David Silva, who has a sprained ankle, Pellegrini could still field a fluid front four of De Bruyne, Toure, Jesus Navas and Raheem Sterling.

"Last season we had a lot of different ways to play -- when our strikers were injured, we played with [midfielder James] Milner [in attack] and scored goals," Pellegrini said at a news conference.

"We can play in different ways and we can win. Kevin De Bruyne is not a striker, but he could play as a striker if we need him to."

The meeting at Old Trafford comes too soon for Fabian Delph, out with his second hamstring strain of the season, and Gael Clichy, yet to play this campaign after undergoing ankle surgery, to return.

But Pellegrini hopes City's injury problems are easing, adding: "Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Delph & Clichy will miss the derby. Maybe next week one or two of them can start working with the team."

However, there was worse news of Nasri, with Pellegrini revealing: "It will be difficult for Samir Nasri to return before the international break. I hope he will be back after those 10 days."

League leaders City go into the clash just two points ahead of United, but Pellegrini said it was too early to talk of the game being decisive.

"It's not a game that decides the title," he added. "For the city it's always a special game -- it's the same for the team and the manager."