City did the double over United last season, but the Red Devils are under new management these days - and Louis van Gaal is slowly but surely beginning to make his mark at Old Trafford.
Indeed, it’s United who enter this fixture as the in-form form team. Van Gaal’s men are unbeaten in their last four matches, and will enter Sunday’s match full of confidence thanks to their late equaliser against league-leaders Chelsea last weekend.
Pellegrini under pressure
Manchester City, meanwhile, come into the match off the back of consecutive defeats against West Ham and Newcastle United.
It’s the first time that City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who led City to the Premier League title in his debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium, has been under any sort of pressure. But serious questions will be asked of the Chilean if his side slump to a home defeat against United this weekend.
- Man United: Predicted line-up v Manchester City
- Man City: Predicted line-up v Manchester United
- David Silva to miss Manchester United clash
Why City must win
Defeat could effectively leave City out of the Premier League title race. Depending on Chelsea’s result against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, City could find themselves nine points behind Jose Mourinho’s side.
And even at this premature stage in the season, that might be an unsurmountable lead for the west London outfit.
Making things a lot harder for City is the fact David Silva, arguably the team’s most important attacking player, has been ruled out for three weeks with a knee injury.
That’s a huge boost for their opponents, whose star striker Radamel Falcao will not be fit to make an appearance on Sunday, but captain Wayne Rooney will start - potentially ahead of Juan Mata.
Manchester City: Predicted line-up
Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Milner, Fernando, Toure, Nasri; Aguero, Dzeko
Manchester United: Predicted line-up
De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Blind, Herrera, Fellaini; Di Maria, Rooney, Van Persie
Manchester City 2-2 Manchester United