The importance of a Manchester derby was once no more than a case of earning local bragging rights but it has now morphed into a game with far more national significance.
Only once in the last eight years has a team outside of Manchester won the Premier League and although Chelsea are the runaway favourites this season, there’s every chance City could worm their way back into the running with a win today.
There is a real sense of optimism among United fans about the derby for the first time in a few years. Not a cocky sense of optimism where a win is expected, far from it, but a genuine feeling that United are going to be competitive from the first whistle against City.
Yaya Toure won’t be given a free reign of midfield any more and although Sergio Aguero looks deadly, so does United’s attack including Angel di Maria. On paper, both teams are capable of winning today if things go their way.
— Andreas Pereira (@andrinhopereira) November 2, 2014
The excitement everywhere is palpable and the return of Wayne Rooney has lifted United’s chances because of his all-time goalscoring record in the derbies.
If Rooney fancies scoring another one of these today, that’d be great: