Manchester United will be keen to keep European failures Manchester City down when the two rivals meet at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Tuesday's 1-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund compounded a miserable Champions League campaign for City, who were bundled out of the competition without winning a match and with the worst ever points tally by an English team in the group stage.
Like City, United go into the clash on the back of a disappointing European defeat. However, SirAlex Ferguson's side had already qualified before the home reverse to Cluj.They will join Arsenal in the draw for the Champions League last 16.
For the next few months, United's attentions will turn to domestic matters. They are leading the way in the Premier League and go into the Manchester derby three points ahead of City
It has been anencouraging start for United, who appear driven by May's final day heartache. City won the league title for the first time in 44 years in dramatic circumstances, leaving United licking their wounds. The men from the red side of Manchester will be determined to silence their noisy neighbours this weekend.
It will be no easy task against a City outfit unbeaten in the Premier League. However, United have the firepower to hurt any side in Europe and plenty of big-match experience.
It will be theleague's hottest attack against the most watertight defence. Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic will face their toughest test so far against Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie (check out Paddy Power's RVP special, with Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck packing a punch from the bench.
In midfield, Ferguson can call on the considerable know-how of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who could get the nod should injured pair Tom Cleverley and Anderson miss out. The match is made for Giggs and Scholes. They have experienced the white-hot atmosphere of derbies many times before.
The only question mark over United is at the back, where they have struggled in recent months. The respective defences will be key in Sunday's clash, so Ferguson will be out to ensure his backline is solid and can lay the platform for his attackers.
If United nullify the threat of City's front quartet, it will go a long way to returning homewith three points and striking an early blow in the title race.
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