Manchester United s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Watford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. AP
Edinson Cavani also missed out due to injury, while Marcus Rashford was left on the bench as Rangnick opted for Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho in a makeshift attack.
Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw are also missing for United due to testing positive for coronavirus.
Ronaldo could have ended up at City had the final days of the summer transfer window gone differently as United swooped in to ensure the five-time Ballon d'Or winner returned to Old Trafford.
However, it has not had the desired effect as Premier League leaders start the game 19 points ahead of their local rivals.
Ronaldo has scored just once in his last 10 games and was ruled out by the recurrence of a hip injury.
City are looking to extend their three-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table, while United face a battle just to make it into the top four.
Ukrainian international Oleksandr Zinchenko is included among the City substitutes as Pep Guardiola made three changes from City's last Premier League outing.
Kyle Walker, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez come into the side with Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan dropping to the bench and Ruben Dias sidelined by a hamstring injury.
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