But tonight’s Manchester derby between City and United is being billed as the biggest club every in world football with an estimated 650 million people in over 190 countries expected to tune in for a clash that is almost certain to decide the Premier League title.
The buildup to the game in England is similar to that of a Champions League final. A win for United would effectively put the race to bed, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson’s side needing only a single point from its final two games to seal the crown.
A draw would keep United three points clear and would also mean that barring any unexpected blunders, the title would be heading to Old Trafford once more.
A City win, though, would put the blue half of Manchester in pole position to claim its first English league title since 1968. While the teams would then be level on points, City’s superior goal-difference would serve as the tiebreaker – and if City won its last two games it would become champion provided United did not embark upon an extraordinary scoring spree.
So the game has become a pivotal point in the balance of the relationship between these clubs. There has always been a heated rivalry, with every contest keenly anticipated and fought with passion.
The two sides have already twice this season. In the league, City won 6-1 at Old Trafford, while Unoited won 3-2 at the Ethiad in the FA Cup. A game that saw the return of Paul Scholes.
In both previous games this season, the losing team has had a player sent off. Passion will be high tonight in Manchester and the team that keeps its nerve will probably win the game.
Will that be the more experienced United side, or is it time for the “noisy neighbors” to take their place amongst England’s elite?