The two Manchester clubs go into the game in positions 1 & 2 in the league table and are set to finally do battle for the Premier League title with the Abu Dhabi Group looking to bankroll City to glory.
After a blistering start to the season United have stuttered of late, defensive frailty as well as stagnant play have taken over from the swashbuckling style that put 8 past Arsenal. Even on Tuesday with a reasonably strong side we looked disjointed against Romanian minnows Otelul Galati.
The same can’t be said for City who will be brimming with confidence after Sergio Aguerro came off the bench (unlike another Argentine striker) to score a last minute winner against Villareal.
Signings like Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguerro added to an already solid team mean City are no longer just noisy neighbours but a genuine threat to our title aspirations but we aren’t looking too bad ourselves.
Phil Jones has been a revelation this season. At 19 he seems fearless, ready to take on any one and anything. His marauding display at Anfield last week is testament to that and I have no fears that he can do an equally good job at Old Trafford on Sunday when picked.
David De Gea too has finally shaken off the nonsensically ‘dodgy keeper’ and his ability is really beginning to shine. His shot stopping and goalkeeping in general have saved us on numerous occasions this season and the £17m Sir Alex spent on replacing Edwin van der Sar looks well spent.
Add these new faces to our already solid team with Wayne Rooney knocking them in for fun having developed a brilliant partnership with Ashley Young and Chicharito ready to score whenever the chance arises and the game looks set to be entertaining for both fans as well as neutrals.
But the red half of the city should be silently confident as we have an ace up our sleeve.
In the build up to the game, whilst some have tried to play down it’s importance Luis Nani has come out all guns blazing declaring that United can sink City,
“City have a fantastic team with fantastic players. They play a lot of good stuff and it will be difficult to play against them.
“But we should not forget, we are United. When we play at home it is very difficult to beat us. We will try to do our best to win the game again.
“We are confident. The most important thing is at home, we have to believe we are going to win most of the games.”
And he has every right to be confident too.
Nani has been too good for too long to slight him by saying he is simply enjoying a good run of form, the Portuguese attacker has found his feet and United are benefiting from it as he adds another attacking threat to the team.
People have complained about our lack of quality in midfield and whilst that gripe is mainly about the center of the park, the threat Nani poses has helped ease this as he runs riot on the wings as well as drifting centrally to make a pest of himself.
Chelsea will bear witness to how much of a problem Nani is as his goal against them in September was a perfect example of the damage he can do when floating in off the wings.
But City won’t have to ask, they know full well about him.
Last February Nani grabbed a goal himself before setting up Wayne Rooney’s wonder goal as we beat them 2-1 at Old Trafford. Then in August it was Nani who capitalised on Vincent Kompany’s hesitation to score a later winner in the Community Shield.
Sir Alex will know the damage he can cause and along with Ashley Young on the opposite wing both can really have a go at their full backs, get in behind them and get the ball into the box as well as cut in and have a go as well.
Nani was singled out for praise by Sir Alex after the Otelul game,
“In the second half we improved a great deal, Nani’s performance in the second half was terrific.”
And it will have done his confidence no harm. When his confidence is high Nani is capable of outstanding and outlandish things, like the goal he scored at the Emirates in January 2010 and he must be flying at the moment after a brilliant start to the season.
City have quality players too, but for me Nani may be the man that steals the headlines on Sunday.