Sir Alex Ferguson has reached an agreement with the Serbian FA to have Nemanja Vidic left out of his country's clash with Israel.
Manchester United manager Ferguson is preparing for Saturday's derby against City with serious fitness concerns over Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans.
That leaves Vidic as United's only fully fit central defender and, despite Serbia insisting last month that he would be playing for his country, coach Vladimir Petrovic has agreed to Ferguson's request to rest the 29-year-old for Wednesday's friendly.
Ferdinand is Ferguson's biggest worry with a calf injury while Evans has a problem with his ankle and Smalling also has a knock.
If all three are ruled out then Wes Brown could be called on to partner Vidic.
Elsewhere, Darren Fletcher (ankle and eye) should be able to take his place in midfield after failing to make Scotland's trip to play Northern Ireland.
But Mexican striker Javier Hernandez could be struggling to make Saturday's lunchtime kick-off as he is not due to return from international duty until Friday morning.
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Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown Places: Scotland, Israel, Northern Ireland