Danny Taylor, The Guardian's chief football writer
PREDICTION: 3-2 City
The strange thing is that while everyone has been obsessed with United's defence and let's not pretend it's been pretty City have kept only two clean sheets from their nine Premier League matches as well.
Ahead of this weekend's Manchester derby, statistics released by EA SPORTS FIFA 15 Ultimate Team have put paid to fan arguments across the country and revealed the best combined starting XI of the two clubs.
Much has been made of the supposed shift in power in Manchester and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the official player rating index of the Barclays Premier League, has revealed that the blue half DO now have the edge.
Manchester City visit Old Trafford later in the month and the prospect fills most United fans with a feeling of dread akin to a starting XI containing William Prunier. After a couple of maulings in recent seasons, some supporters were actually grateful for the penalty shoot-out defeat in the semi-final of the League Cup against Sunderland for fear of embarrassment at Wembley against Manuel Pellegrini's side.
As for most privileged Reds of Generation X and Z, Fergie is all I've ever really known. Whilst in the deepest recesses of my subconscious rests Big Ron, Fergie is the only footballing face of authority I've ever really recognized. This has rendered a significant number of younger United fans extremely anxious, constantly questioning and treating this new person at the helm with caution, suspicion even.
The finest sentence of Roy Keane's 2002 Autobiography reads; "I like dogs, because unlike humans, they don't talk shite." As a human myself, who also happens to be a dog owner, I can see where he's coming from.
It's the sort of candor that's become synonymous with the man; a brand of deliberately outspoken contrariness that has led some notable Reds (namely Pete Boyle and Andy Mitten) to liken Roy to Mancunian musician Morrissey.
Just after Chelsea had fallen behind to Basle in the Champions League last night, the Sky Sports commentator asked whether Chelsea's youngsters truly had it in them to drag themselves back into the game.
I thought it seemed a fairly astonishing thing to say given the experience within the Stamford Bridge team's first x11, and it is an obvious example of the media swallowing whatever baloney their beloved â€˜Special One' tosses out to them in his press conferences, hook, line, and sinker.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's derby, Manuel Pellegrini has claimed that United aren't any stronger this season compared to last.
Similar. I think that both teams are similar. We are not stronger. I think Manchester United bought very important players this year. I think also they are at the moment where you start with a new manager and new players which is not easy.
In response to Mike Phelan's claims that Manchester United had "lost their way" following the sale of Danny Welbeck, Jason Burt wrote for The Telegraph about United's history of youth team players. He claimed "it is a myth that United have always had a team overbrimming with local players and youth team products".
Around the start of April, it all seemed to be incredibly bleak. Manchester United were persevering with David Moyes. Moyes was a disaster, and it didn't seem that he was learning. If anything, it seemed like a substandard manager had made things so bad that he'd never get out of the deepening hole.
Robin van Persie gave the best years of his career to Arsenal, his boyhood club, but even when he was the Premier League's top scorer, winner of PFA and Football Writer of the Year awards, he had no medal to show for it.
The only trophy he won in his time with the North London club was the FA Cup at the end of his first season when he came on as a sub when United were robbed at Cardiff.
Manchester City plan to offer Adnan Januzaj a big money deal to quit rivals Manchester United. Reports in the Metro suggest City plan to take advantage of the 18-year-old stalling over a new contract by offering him a Â£45,000-a-week deal to move across Manchester. That would triple his current United salary.
David Moyes on CL: "I think it has become a harder competition to win with the spending power of some of the big teams in other countries." Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 29, 2013 Manchester United manager David Moyes says there are not enough world-class players in his squad to be able to mount a [.
Just hope Fergie doesn't come out of his retirement... #MoyesIn Carina Anders (@CarinaAnders) September 28, 2013 Following Manchester United's back-to-back Premier League defeats, it wasn't long before disgruntled United fans and various armchair pundits took to Twitter to call for the new manager to be given the chop.
6-1, 5-1, 4-1. Playing Manchester City and getting tonked by them is actually a fairly regular occurrence these days. But way before then, it didn't help that Manchester United were rubbish. It didn't help that any team can have an off day. It didn't help that Manchester City have recently been able to play really, really well.
Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic says the derby day thrashing at the hands of rivals Manchester City hurt. The Serbia international said the champions had the experience to bounce back from the 4-1 reverse, but acknowledged that questions would be asked of the squad and of new manager David Moyes.
Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans has revealed he tried to bring legendary Argentinian striker Gabriel Batistuta to the club. Evans had hoped to pair 'Batigol' with Reds legend Robbie Fowler in the mid-1990s, but the deal never materialised. As it happened, Batistuta remained in Italy with Fiorentina, for whom he scored 168 goals in 269 [.
Louis van Gaal has spoken of his understanding of the importance of getting a win against City on Sunday. Van Gaal noticed a difference in how Ryan Giggs, who has played in more Manchester derbies than anyone, delivered the pre-match analysis.
It is one of the 38 matches we have to play but, for the fans, it is unbelievably big as a rivalry.
Manchester City defender, Aleks Kolarov, has claimed that United have been been inferior to City over the past five or six years.
United has a great history but in the last five or six years, I think we have been superior to them. United is always United, a great club with a great history and if you don't respect them a lot they are going to beat you.
Luis Suarez has left Liverpool for Barcelona just six months after signing a new 5-year-deal with the Merseyside club.
"I am delighted to have agreed a new deal with Liverpool and have my future secured for the long term," said Suarez at the time. "I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool.
Manchester United fans rightly don't want the reputation of being an unsupportive club that sacks the manager at the drop of a hat. One of the arguments that is regularly put forward for keeping hold of David Moyes is that "we don't want to become like Chelsea". Whilst I'd argue that Chelsea's policy of sacking the manager hasn't prevented them from being successful, with them winning plenty of trophies with the eight different managers they've had in the past six years, it certainly has limited their success.
Here's a pic of the rest of the squad, taking part in some small sided games...#CFC pic.twitter.com/wG4lPllrIu Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) September 27, 2013 Chelsea's squad have been playing some small-sided games in preparation for tomorrow's lunchtime kick-off against London rivals Spurs. Goalkeepers Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer were put through their paces away from [.
Spurs midfielder Sandro says the squad is "determined" to beat Chelsea on Saturday to make amends for last season's home defeat to their London rivals. The Brazil international is aware of just how important the fixture is and says he and his team-mates want to secure a "big win" He told the club's official website: [.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho's teenage son has signed for west London rivals Fulham. Goalkeeper Jose Mario, aged 14, has joined the Cottagers' youth team after a one-month trial at the club. The youngster was previously on the books of Real Madrid youth team Canillas. But since the family has now moved back to England, he [.
Having waited for Sir Alex Ferguson to retire first, Arsene Wenger has claimed that our former manager influenced the referees to give us favourable decisions. It would be ridiculous to argue that United don't get the rub of the green at times but that is a luxury all clubs at the top tend to enjoy.
North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are set for a January transfer battle over French full-back Sebastien Corchia. As we reported yesterday, the Sochaux right-back also comfortable at left-back has made it clear that a move in the next transfer window is a distinct possibility. The 22-year-old was linked with a move to [.
The most expensive footballer of all-time, Gareth Bale, says he would have left Tottenham for Real Madrid even if his former club had qualified for the Champions League last season. Spurs were pipped to fourth place and Champions League football by north London rivals Arsenal last term. But Bale says he would have still left [.
Multi-millionaire footballers have all sorts of ways to celebrate victory over their fiercest rivals. Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny marked yesterday's 1-0 win over Spurs in the north London derby by making a video of himself playing We Won The League At White Hart Lane on his piano and uploading it to Facebook.
Paul Scholes has had a pop at Manchester City fans for failing to sell out yet another big game at the Etihad.
"The crowd need to get behind this team they need to create a special European atmosphere," Scholes said. "I was lucky enough to play at Old Trafford and we always talked about the atmosphere on a Tuesday night, the special atmosphere you create, and the crowd is rocking when you go out for a warm up.
Everyone's favourite racist, Luis Suarez, has bitten an opposition player for the third time in his career. Suarez ran at Italy's Giorgio Chiellini and bit in to his shoulder. Just like with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic before him, Chiellini hadn't provoked Suarez in any way. He was given a ten match ban for that bite and a seven match ban for biting Otman Bakkal's shoulder whilst at Ajax.
It came as a shock to most people when rumours started circulating on the evening of May 7th that Sir Alex Ferguson planned to retire at the end of the 2012/2013 season, having wrapped up the title weeks before the end of the season.
That night, Ferguson rang up his brother and closest confidante, Martin, to let him know of his decision.
Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet, two of the early favourites to replace Paolo Di Canio as Sunderland manager, are both set to rule themselves out of contention for the post. The Guardian reports that the pair both plan to spurn any approach from the Black Cats, with "Di Matteo, especially, and Poyet apparently lukewarm" [.