Neither United or City have reached peak yet this season,and it's seems as if both sides are just flexing their muscles at the moment in advance of their head-on collision next weekend.
This Saturday's games are equally important though,because if we come a cropper at Reading ,we will have almost certainly handed the initiative to City in advance of the Etihad showdown.
Defeat tomorrow and in the derby will send shivers down the spines of everyone connected with Old Trafford,not least Sir Alex Ferguson ,who may also see his seven point cushion over Chelsea all but eroded.
This almost unthinkable scenario would then leave us five points behind ,not to mention ,Mr Fergusin ,a significant deficit in goal difference,effectively six points in arrears.
At the rsk of being labelled the ultimate pessimist,this nightmare scenario would b a bitter Christmas pill for us to swallow,so we need to be firing on all cylinders,with the correct starting line up tomorrow.
All we need at the Etihad is a repeat of the pathetic selection and performance we dished up last May in an embarrassing effort to shut out far more skilful,and mobile opponents.
The result if Mr Stubborn goes down this road again will be the same ,and he will have nowhere to hide this time.