Man Utd Champions League hopes could be ended by Man City
Blues boss Manuel Pellegrini could send his Old Trafford rival to the gallows with a victory in his final derby
Sunday's Manchester derby will not only determine bragging rights in the city for the summer, it could decide which team will be playing Champions League football next season.
Manchester United are having a grim season and must travel to the blue side of town while still smarting from their Europa League exit at the hands of their other bitter rivals, Liverpool.
Manager Louis van Gaal will have his work cut out rousing his troops, but he has to get a reaction as United are four points adrift of Manchester City, who are fourth in the table.
But the Blues have problems of their own. They may have booked a first ever trip to the Champions League quarter-finals, but they are once again missing their captain, Vincent Kompany.
If West Ham can beat Chelsea on Saturday, then City will drop to fifth place ahead of the game.
"It seems safe to presume that the loser of Sunday’s Manchester derby will not be playing in the Champions League next season," says Eurosport, which notes that the game is also a tale of two managers.
Van Gaal badly needs to improve his side's performances if he is to have any chance of staying in his job this summer, although most already believe he is a dead man walking.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini, on the other hand, knows he is in his final stretch but will not want to leave the Etihad under a cloud by failing to secure a Champions League berth for incoming manager Pep Guardiola.
United's lack of flair, combined with home advantage for City, should be telling, says Mark Lawrenson of the BBC. "The likes of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and David Silva are big-game players for City, and I would expect them to make the difference," he adds.
Paul Merson of Sky Sports is also backing City to heap more misery on United - and it is hard to disagree.