It seems that every single Manchester Derby these days is described as being the biggest in a lifetime, but surely that epithet actually has a ring of truth to it this time round. Has there been a more important league derby in the last 30+ years? Certainly not for City, and even the Reds might admit there's a fair bit riding on this one.
Just ten days after seemingly extinguishing any remaining flicker of title credentials following disastrous results against Villa and Birmingham, City incredibly go into this weekend with everything still to play for. United remain comfortably in control – annoyingly with both a game in hand and points already in the bag – but Mad Mick and his perennial giant killers from Wolverhampton have contrived to open the back door ever so slightly for his old club to sneak through.
So the Manchester City rollercoaster thunders on. And we wouldn't have it any other way!
There's a school of thought that Bob will play this one tight and be content with a solitary point. But surely anything other than all three means it's game over as far as the title is concerned. Even a victory would leave us with a hell of a mountain to climb but at least United would then be wobbling against the ropes with games against Arsenal, Chelsea (twice) and the resurgent dippers still to come. It's fair to say that a win for City on Saturday could have huge implications for the destiny of this most bizarre of Premier League seasons.
So, all in all, it should be a cracker. Wobbly Gob seems to be a doubt for them, while Balotelli's knees (and the possibility of Jo getting on the pitch) are our only major concerns. There may be more injuries to come as City's players return to Carrington from international duty (most of United's were conveniently carrying mysterious four-day 'knocks'), and Shaun Goater's favourite Chuckle Brother will sadly be absent following a severe bout of dawning realisation.
Kick off's at 4.45pm (UAE time), so get yourself down to the Crown & Lion from 2pm onwards for some liquid anaesthetic as we prepare for 97 minutes of nail-biting agony and – hopefully – ecstasy.
Come on City!!!