Manchester United manager David Moyes has not exactly covered himself with glory in the big matches so far. A turgid 0-0 draw against Chelsea was followed by a disappointing 1-0 loss to great rivals Liverpool.
Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie celebrates after scoring against Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League game, September 17
However, all of that will be forgotten if Moyes masterminds a convincing win over their near neighbours Manchester City in the English Premier League at the Etihad.
The first Manchester Derby of the season comes early and with plenty of subplots unfolding with every passing hour.
Will Wayne Rooney continue his great form? Will Rooney finally find that telepathic connection with Robin Van Persie? Can Manuel Pellegrini pick up his first Manchester Derby win as Man City manager? Will the Manchester City new boys shine, or could it be Marouane Fellaini's day?
Plenty of questions, and most of them will be answered when Howard Webb blows the whistle to signal the end of the 90 minutes.
After a difficult start, United have slowly found their feet with two consecutive wins - one in the Premier League and the other in the Champions League.
"We've played well in the last few games and have got a bit of confidence and hopefully we'll try and show that in the game on Sunday," Moyes told reporters on Friday.
"There is an excitement for any derbies in any big city in the world. They're all really important to your own supporters. They're important to the players as well but ultimately it's about what happens come the end of the season and how many points you get together to see who is top.
"These points could be really important towards that, they may not be. We'll go and we'll try and take all the points.
"I've experienced derby games in Glasgow and on Merseyside. But as I said every derby in every big city is important to whichever team you support and I understand how important it is for the Manchester United fans."
City are locked on seven points with United and like their rivals have not exactly convinced over the four Premier League games this season, but will take confidence from a convincing win in the Champions League in midweek.
"I don't need to be here to know how big this derby is," Pellegrini said. "Playing against Man United at home we must win, it's more important to win than to not lose.
"The past and the history will not play the next game. Every game is different, but I hope we are going to do a very good match against Manchester United.
"I don't know what happened in the past, but I know that our mentality at the moment is very strong. So strong, more strong than Manchester United."
Team News: City have been boosted by the return of skipper and defensive rock Vincent Kompany, but David Silva, Gael Clichy (both thigh) and Micah Richards (hamstring) are all doubts.
Danny Welbeck is a major doubt for United with a knee problem, while doubts remain on the fitness of Rafael and Phil Jones. Moyes hinted at using the same lineup that eased to a victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.
Where to watch
The match is scheduled for a 8.30 p.m. start with it set to be telecast Live on ESPN and ESPN HD. You can also watch the game online by clicking the official link HERE.
Expected lineups: Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Navas, Aguero, Nasri; Dzeko.
Manchester United: De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Fellaini, Carrick; Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa; Van Persie.
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