Though it won’t mean too much other than local pride at this stage for Manchester United, there’s a certainty to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men giving everything to beat their cross-city rivals and current Premier League leaders, Manchester City.
The form book often goes out of the window when games of this magnitude come up on the calendar, and even though this one is a first plays second encounter, the truth is that there’s a cavernous gap – in points terms and more generally – between the respective sides.
Pep Guardiola’s swashbucklers are once again redefining the game, and are deservedly sat at the top of the pile with 11 games to go.
The question isn’t if they’ll win the title this season, it’s when.
Bruno Fernandes has at least been the one shining light in the Red Devils squad, though he has underperformed against teams in the top six.
Solskjaer will be keen to see a match-winning performance from the Portuguese, even if it costs his club a pretty penny.
According to the Daily Mirror, Fernandes is favourite for the Player of the Year award.
If he comes to the fore again in the derby it’s likely to cement his success, however, if he does then go on and wins the gong, United will be forced to pay Sporting an extra £4.2m because of one of the clauses written into the contract.
That’s a bit of a double-edged sword for United.