The Manchester Derby is always one of the top events of the Premier League season, and this year is no different.
Manchester City and Manchester United have finished first and second in the prestigious league in each of the past two seasons, with each club winning one title. The fact that these sides are local rivals makes the upcoming match even better.
Although both clubs have had an underwhelming start to the 2013-14 season with seven points in four matches, there is no doubt that they will be among the top contenders to win a league title this season.
This contest will go a long way toward deciding that result, so each squad better come prepared for what should be an exciting match.
When: Sunday, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. ET; 4 p.m. BST
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Watch: NBC Sports (U.S.), BBC One (U.K.)
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds (via Bloomberg Sports): Manchester City (49.7 percent), Manchester United (26.8 percent), Draw (23.5 percent)
Top Storyline: Can Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie Coexist?
Two years ago, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were the two top scorers in the EPL, albeit on different teams. When van Persie transferred to Manchester United, he took over the main scoring role, while Rooney became more of a passer.
However, both players have been quite active near the net in the past couple of matches. They each scored a goal in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace and then combined for three goals in a Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen.
It took a while for Rooney to return to form, but he is clearly playing at his best right now. The question is whether this strong play can continue for both world-class players.
If Manchester United can find a way to get enough touches for both of them, this could be a tough attack to stop.
Prediction: Manchester City 1, Manchester United 1
With the exception of a fluke loss to Cardiff City, Manchester City have been flawless defensively this season. The return of Vincent Kompany in the middle especially gives the squad a boost as it continues to be one of the top units in the Premier League.
Although this will make it incredibly difficult for United to score, there is enough talent on the front line to at least sneak one goal past Joe Hart.
On the other side of the pitch, City have been incredibly inconsistent as no one has stepped up as a go-to scorer. However, you can expect a veteran player like Edin Dzeko or David Silva to come through in a big match like this.
No one will be thrilled with a draw, but neither side will mind coming away with one point in this difficult contest between top clubs.
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