After missing out on the title and finishing on the same points as City last season, United have run away with it this season, going in to derby day with the potential of going 18 points clear.

After beating City away from home, as well as picking up wins against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool, United have proven beyond any question which team is the best this season, and it’s unlikely that we will need to rely on goal difference to be named champions.

However, Roberto Mancini believes that the table lies and that despite us having dropped points in just 5 games this season, United aren’t 15 points better than City.

“We don’t deserve to stay 15 points behind. They have played very well, they have won a lot of games,” Mancini said. “The last 18 (unbeaten) – the last time they lost was Norwich. They deserve to stay on the top, but not 15 points. It is not a true table. Now we have eight games. If we play well, if we win a lot of these games, maybe we can reduce this gap. This should be our target in this moment.”

However, City keeper Joe Hart has contradicted his manager and insisted that the table paints a true reflection of the difference between the two clubs.

“United have been a machine who have kept killing and we haven’t,” he said. “They were always going to come back strongly this season and we intended to do the same. It’s just how the season panned out. Every team will say you need at least eight performing and sometimes we haven’t had that. That’s not a criticism of anyone. It’s tough to be at your best all season. But it’s not like United have won a bonus game worth 15 points and gone above us. They have kept winning and we haven’t so it has to be a true reflection.”