Manchester United lead second-placed Manchester City, the defending league champions, by 15 points going into Monday's derby.
It would appear then, with eight games to go, the title is heading back to Old Trafford and City are playing to ensure second spot.
Nevertheless, it is a game both will want to win and BBC Sport looks at the stats and recent history between these two teams.
The Manchester derby in numbers
- Monday's match will be the 165th meeting. Of the previous 164, Manchester United have won 69, Manchester City 45, with 50 draws.
- Manchester United and Manchester City are two of the three teams yet to lose in the Premier League this season when they have taken the lead. Arsenal are the other.
- Only Manchester City (14) have kept more Premier League clean sheets than Manchester United so far this season (11).
- Manchester City topped both the defensive and goalscoring charts on their way to the title last season, with Manchester United second in both categories. This time around, while City again have the best defensive record in the division (26 conceded), they are fifth in the goalscoring table (55 scored). United have scored the most goals (70) and have the second best defensive record (31 conceded).
- Manchester United have scored the most goals (27) in the opening half-hour of league matches this season, while Manchester City have scored the most goals (28) in the final half-hour of games.
- Of the 26 goals Manchester City have let in so far this season, nine (35%) of them have been scored from outside the area, which is the highest percentage in the division. Just one of the 31 goals conceded by Manchester United in the league this season has come from outside the box.
- Manchester United have kept six clean sheets in a row in the Premier League, and have not conceded for 627 minutes in the top flight.
- Manchester United's win over Sunderland last week helped them become the first team in English top-flight history to win 25 of their opening 30 games.
- Manchester United's 77 points tally is the joint highest, along with Chelsea in 2004/2005, after 30 games of a top-flight season in England.
- Since Roberto Mancini took over at Manchester City, he has won two of his six Premier League meetings with the United, losing three and drawing one.
- Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has failed to score in any of his last nine competitive appearances, despite playing for 549 minutes and attempting 24 shots at goal in that period.
- Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has managed to score, on average, one goal every 178 minutes in the Premier League this season - not as often as last season, when he averaged a goal every 113 minutes.
- United have won 27 points from losing positions this season, more than any other side in the Premier League.
Who's saying what ahead of the game?
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "It'll be a big game for City - they'll want to come and derail us for a spell.
"I can understand their motivation - we'd probably have the same thing. There will still be a great intensity about the game."
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "If it is not important for the table or the title race, I think the derby is always a derby. It is important for us and for them.
"We want to show we don't deserve to stay 15 points behind and we can reduce the gap between now and the end. But the title race is finished."
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand: "Everything gets put aside in a derby game. We have to make sure we put pressure on them, make sure they know they have been in a really tough game and that they will be disappointed at the end because we have won."
Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko: "It's a very important game even if we are 15 points behind because the derby is always the derby. It's the best league game of the season and we will do our best to try to win there."
Manchester City keeper Joe Hart: "It is a cliche but we play for our fans, and for ourselves. It looks like the title is not going our way but we have a lot to play for. We are looking for three points and to get as big a tally as we can."
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson: "I can see City going for a win to prove a point because they know they are going to lose their title. They will play with no fear, which will help a lot, but I still see the points being shared."
Statistics provided by Opta.