The Premier League contest at the Etihad Stadium will be the first meeting between the local rivals since Brazilian full-back Maicon joined the Blues from Inter Milan this summer.
With it once again pitting the league’s top two against each other – champions City currently trail leaders United by three points – the game is set to be as intense an affair as ever.
And Maicon, who has played in derbies for Inter against AC Milan and for Cruzeiro against their Belo Horizonte neighbours Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, is expecting something just as feisty as those encounters.
"My strongest memory of the Milan derbies was the day Inter won 4-0 (in 2009-10) and we also won the Champions League in the same season," he said.
"It was a great game, a great derby, difficult to forget.
"All over the world, the derby is a different game to any other.
"It is a passionate game, whether you are in Manchester, Milan or Brazil, and I am sure Sunday will be just the same.
"I remember playing for Cruzeiro against Atletico Mineiro, at a time when Mineiro were the better team. We won that game, and it changed our whole season for the better.
"This is something that is built into derbies – it can give the team a boost of confidence for the rest of the season."
Both City and United go into the match having lost their midweek Champions League fixtures, but there was a considerable contrast between the context in each case.