Manchester’s blue and red religions collide this weekend as United welcome City to the Theatre of Dreams.
Three points for United and they pull up alongside their City neighbours in the league standings, despite what has been a tumultuous season for the Red Devils.
For City, that simply doesn’t bear thinking of, and they will be desperate to widen the gap between them and United.
It really is a bizarre Premier League oddity that United should be so close behind City, especially considering there has been a noticeable gulf in class between the two in terms of on-field performance.
So, why is the difference so surprisingly narrow? Is the much vaunted City squad just not as good as everyone thinks it is?
To answer that, we put together a little TierMaker, ranking every member of both squads in a bid to compare them.
If you happen to be a Manchester United defender, you might want to look away now.
That’s right – we created an exclusive class right at the top for the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo.
We really do think that he is that good and, having already hauled United back from the brink on several occasions, we figured he warranted the title of ‘Manchester Royalty’.
There are few match ups in the world that can boast this many world class stars but, with the amount of money these two clubs have spent of late, the derby is simply littered with them.
These lads are the kind of footballers that could waltz into any team and make an instant, and significant, impact.
Kevin De Bruyne
David De Gea
A gaggle of lads that any coach on earth would be happy to have in their starting line ups – we just felt it might be a bit of a stretch to consider them truly ‘World Class’ at the moment.
Paul Pogba might consider himself lucky to find himself among the ‘Top Drawer’ cast based on recent performances but, the fact remains that he is a supremely talented footballer on his day.
The most populace category on our list is reserved for those who are important to their respective squads.
However, right now they’re at a point in their careers where they might not necessarily be integral.
For the likes of Cole Palmer, that is very likely to change, but for someone like John Stones, it seems unlikely that he could force his way up a category.
Just a Bit Meh
The home of the United defender, it seems.
While they aren’t objectively bad footballers, they really have been bang average this season and for that reason, they find themselves in the bottom category for the derby.
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Some may feel hard done by to be lumped into this category, Juan Mata and Donny van de Beer for example but, sadly, they can produce little evidence to convince us otherwise.
Donny van de Beek