City: Yaya Toure, Jack Rodwell, Gareth Barry, Javi Garcia
United: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Paul Scholes, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher
Unmistakeably, this is the area that City failed to improve in after the title-winning season.
Letting go of Owen Hargreaves was neither here nor there, given how little he featured, but both David Pizarro (returned from loan) and Nigel De Jong (sold) left the club, and though two new midfielders came in, neither have the technical ability nor the aggressiveness that the outgoing duo brought City.
Jack Rodwell could become a monster midfielder given the right tactical coaching and a prolonged spell in the first team, but will he get either at City? Javi Garcia has flattered to deceive at times, and four league starts in the first half a season for someone as expensive as him says it all.
United have been constantly talked about as needing a truly top-class attacking midfielder, but have a wealth of experience and quality who also possess that most priceless of mental traits of knowing how to win, whatever it takes.
Carrick has played in every league game except for one this term, and his influence on the team continues to grow, while the recent returns of Anderson and Fletcher are also big bonuses for the final third of the pitch if they can maintain form and fitness.
Squad depth: United again. They could easily cope with losing a couple to injury, while City could severely struggle when Yaya Toure heads off for the ACN.
Talent: On an individual level Yaya Toure is one of the best in the world, easily better than any of the United midfielders. This season, though, he has not hit the heights he is capable of, and United's better mix of abilities between their players has been more important.
Who is better in this area of the squad: United rule the midfield roost as a squad, though in a one-off game, picking two-vs.-two, you'd struggle to pick the ones from the group who would better Yaya and Barry at their best.