More at stake in Manchester derby than three points

The day has finally come when Manchester will be a sea of blue and red, as old-time foes Manchester City and Manchester United will not only be battling for three points but also looking to claim bragging rights when they clash at the Etihad Stadium at 5.30pm today.

The encounter between the two Manchester sides is always one of the most anticipated fixtures in the English Premier League football calendar every year, as the meeting between the two always tops the billing.

City will be responding to the result of table-toppers Liverpool, who played against Nottingham Forest yesterday, while United will be looking to return to winning ways after their disappointing home defeat to Fulham last weekend.

In recent years, under the tutelage of manager Pep Guardiola, City have been an extremely dominant force over their rivals and have been the undisputed kings of Manchester.The same cannot be said about United, as they have struggled and have not been a force to be reckoned with since the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson, who stepped down in 2013.

The new man in the hot seat, Erik ten Hag, is just in his second season as the United manager but has also not had it easy. They are currently occupying position six on the table with 44 points, eight points adrift from the Uefa Champions League top four spot.

With the league title completely out of reach once again this season, United will be desperate to at least give their fans something to brag about and improve from the recent results against City, where they lost five of their previous six meetings.

That feat is, however, unlikely for Ten Hag and his Red Devils, as the odds will not only be stacked against them but also against the hostile blue army of Man City at the Etihad.

However, United will not go down without a fight to walk away with maximum points and increase their chances of finishing inside the top four, while the Citizens will be looking to intensify the pressure at the top and take it down to the wire in their heated title challenge against contenders Liverpool and Arsenal with 12 league games remaining.

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