For many, it's God's day of rest; for Manchester, it's play time.
By Adam Bailey
On Sunday September 22, the world will cast its Beady Eye on the ignition of a fresh rivalry. A paradisaical Oasis of football awaits the Etihad and the Robin Van Persie demons that still make Eastlands creek at night must be erased.
Come 6pm, the blues will be High Flying in the Barclays Premier League table; we hope.
|Photo: Official MCFC Facebook|
It's been a summer of change for both Manchester clubs. Managerial appointments and a number of fresh signings (for one team at least) bring a crisp, unpredictable excitement to the derby. Fernandinho, Jesús Navas, Stevan Jovetić and Álvaro Negredo all seem to be comfortable in their new sky blue tees and Marouane Fellaini has added strength and poise to United's midfield. Sunday will present them all with the perfect stage to show their worth as 48,000 roaring spectators nervously watch on.
However, both clubs have started the 2013/2014 campaign with minimal acceleration. Respective losses to Cardiff and Liverpool have left throbbing wounds, but also mean the two Manchester giants sit on seven points.
It's all to play for.
Mancini's minions were dealt a sickening blow last year when Robin Van Persie's late free-kick saw Fergie's champions record a smug 2-3 victory. However, Pellegrini's home record at his new club is still glistening and the Chilean won't want to spoil it with a high profile loss to his new, bitter rivals. David Moyes has a frustratingly impressive record against the blues having led Everton to 10 victories from 22 games since his reign at Everton began in 2002.
It's unconquered ground for both bosses and both would love to boast a first ever Manchester derby win. Moyes may have Premier League experience, but Pellegrini's pastoral approach will help settle the home side.
Bring your scarf, your hat... anything!
Below is a video from the last meeting between us and United, when Sergio Agüero scored to secure a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.