Here comes another derby and when it’s Manchester City taking on Manchester United, everybody stays in focus to see who will emerge winners or losers.
This Friday, City host United in what could turn out to be a decisive clash as they fight it out for a Top 4 finish in the Premier League.
City are currently fourth with 64 points after 32 matches, whilst United are just a point below their bitter rival-neighbours.
Heading into this fixture, City are on a two-match winning streak. On the other hand, the Red Devils are on a roll with three straight victories.
But Jose Mourinho’s side could be in big trouble.
Reason? Zlatan Ibrahimovic, considered as their new main man, is out after suffering a knee injury during their recent win over Anderlecht that earned them a semifinal spot in the Europa League.
His absence could be a factor but for United fans, fretting about it would not be fine.
After all, there is Marcus Rashford who is expected to fill the shoes by Ibrahimovic, and Paul Pogba, who is out also because of injury.
United will also be without Marcos Rojo (knee) and could miss Juan Mata, who has yet to recover from groin surgery.
The 19-year-old Rashford scored a goal in their huge 2-0 win over leaders Chelsea recently and if he remains in good form, the City defence will have a lot of work to do.
Mourinho’s men are also unbeaten in 23 Premier League matches on the strength of 13 wins and 10 draws. This could be a massive motivator as they attempt to secure an important win at enemy territory.
City, on the other hand, will try to regroup after their extra-time loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup semifinals over the weekend.
And let’s add the fact that in their last derby held at Old Trafford, City eked out a 2-1 victory.
This derby will be crucial for both teams. A loss could mean being bundled out of the top four.
In their last derby meeting held at Old Trafford, City won 2-1 behind the goals of Kevin de Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho, whilst Ibrahimovic connected for United.
However, United rebounded with a 1-0 win in the League Cup last 16 after that defeat as Juan Mata netted the lone goal. United eventually won the League Cup title last February.
And yes, lest we forget, this match is also interesting as far as the rivalry of Mourinho and City boss Pep Guardiola is concerned.
They have brought their acts to England after famously crossing paths whilst managing Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, in the La Liga clasicos between 2010 and 2012.
By any gauge, this coming encounter is similar to both sides playing each other as if it’s a winner-take-all affair. Or shall we say as though they are already battling it out for this season’s title.
They are out to gain a spot in the Champions League qualification places, as they may have fallen off the pace to catch Chelsea and Tottenham.
More than that, however, also at stake is local pride.
And judging by the intensity, and controversy, that surrounds this rivalry, another unforgettable match is again in store for us.