With increasing frequency, Manchester is looking the likely destination of the 2012 Premier League Champions with both its teams, United and City, looking set to bound clear of their main rivals at the top of the Premier League despite it still being early in the season.
Both teams sit alongside each other on 16 points, with each winning five and drawing one of their opening six matches, with United having scored three more goals than their neighbours separating the pair in first and second place.
This is of course is nothing new to United who are looking for their 20th league title this season (and 13th of the Ferguson era) but the early signs suggest that City are set to push their bitter rivals all season long as they seek their first title since 1969.
City however are not just looking for the Premier League title, their owners, Abu Dhabi United Group, have invested hugely in the club since taking over in 2008 and are undoubtedly looking for a long term return on their investment at the top of the Premier League as well as competing for the top Champions League and given the manner in which they have started the season, it would appear that the renaissance has started in the Blue half of Manchester.
City manager, Roberto Mancini, is continuing to grow in stature at the Etihad Stadium and although being helped enormously by an infinite transfer budget, it would appear that he has spent the money wisely.
The Italian has got his side playing a more aggressive form of football to complement the flare that is expected from the talent within the squad. The team is proving game after game that they are not only full of goals but can also defend with great fortitude as shown with just two goals conceded in six games and none at home! Many suspected that the ongoing Carlos Tevez saga might upset the mood at the club but Mancini has seemingly avoided confrontation and in the brilliant Sergio Aguero, Tevez is struggling to make the starting XI and when he finally does leave the club, which is likely to be in January, performances thus far have indicated that he will not be missed.
It would appear that Mancini has the ability to rotate his players without losing any individual or team momentum; something that has been evident in the goals scored so far from strikers Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli who have all started on the bench in at least one game.
In fact, City have goalscorers throughout its squad and the brand of football being played is allowing players from all outfield positions to make key contributions in front of goal with James Milner, David Silva and Gareth Barry having scored from midfield and Joleon Lescott and Aleksandar Kolarov getting forward from defence to score.
It is too early to tell whether this early season promise from Man City will continue but given the size, quality and depth of squad at the disposal of Roberto Mancini there is every reason to believe that City’s are set to become a regular feature at the top of the table and United fans have every reason to be worried that their dominance of football at both local and national level is under threat from the team that Sir Alex Ferguson infamously described as “the noisy neighbours” and the Man Utd v Man City game on Sunday 23rd October will surely go a long way in answering the question about just how much of a threat City are!