Premier League football: Manchester City v Manchester United, Sunday 12.30pm Sky Sports 1 (kick-off 1.30pm)
The Red Scare is returning to the richest derby in England
Last season the Manchester derby was a total wipeout, with City smashing seven in total past David Moyes’s shambles of a defence over two Premier League matches.
But after Newcastle’s shock win over City in the League Cup earlier this week, Madchester this Sunday is starting to look a lot more interesting.
Wayne Rooney, the record goalscorer in Manchester derbies, is expected to return and captain the side, and after Robin van Persie’s last-minute equaliser against Chelsea the fire appears to be back in the Red Devils.
That’s not to say that City aren’t still favourites. Their dominance in recent meetings between the two gives speaks for itself: five of the last six Premier League ties have gone the way of the Blues.
Rooney was carrying an injury earlier in the week but is expected to be fit, and Radamel Falcao is also likely to be available for United. Add a rejuvenated Robin van Persie and Angel di Maria and van Gaal has the usual embarrassment of riches up front.
City will badly miss playmaker David Silva after he went down with a knee injury against Newcastle. Title rivals Chelsea are already six points ahead, and Pellegrini was unusually dismissive of his team following the League Cup loss.
The changing of the guard in the city over the past few seasons has created some of the most exciting derby games in England, from Wayne Rooney’s spectacular overhead to Mario Balotelli’s infamous ‘Why Always Me?’ t-shirt.
The restlessness is easy to understand: United hate their status as Manchester’s second team, while City loathe the thought that they might let United out of this headlock so soon.