Ex-Manchester United defender Wes Brown has insisted that Sunday's Manchester derby will be a decider in the title race.
Manchester City look to be running away with the league, but a loss to their neighbours could see them veer off track, while a win would hand them a firmer grip on the trophy.
Brown, speaking exclusively to 888sport, declared that the Manchester derby has overtaken United vs. Liverpool as the Premier League's biggest match, but he doesn't see Sunday's game ending the title race even if City win.
“If United lose I wouldn’t say the title race is over but it does give City a great chance to push on," he said.
"As we’ve seen so many times in the past the Christmas period is interesting in itself and anything can happen there. If United win then it would make that Christmas period even more exciting. I want United to win anyway but I also hope they win because it would make the league interesting.
“For the league position then I would say it’s the bigger game now. Both teams have unbelievable players. For me when I looked at the fixtures I’d look for the Liverpool game first and then City but that’s how I was brought up. I reckon the younger lads coming up now will probably look for the Man City game. Maybe if I was playing now I’d do the same too.”
Despite City's recent dominance, Brown reckons his former team are still the 'top dogs' in Manchester. But he admitted that United fans are frustrated by Jose Mourinho's style of play.
“Of course United are still the top dogs but I’m telling you now that City have started this season off unbelievably," he added.
"The team is brilliant and I’ve got a lot of friends who are City fans and they’re so excited by Pep and how he wants his team to play. It’s a Barcelona style where everyone wants the ball and keeps the ball and keeps moving. I think it’s fantastic for Manchester itself that both of its clubs are first and second.
"It makes it so interesting too that the sides are so different. City are proving themselves by going out and winning week in and week out in a positive way. United are winning every week too but it’s more defensive which is why the fans are getting frustrated. Jose though is just doing what he thinks is the right thing to get the points.”
Red Devils keeper David de Gea put in quite the performance in goal against Arsenal last weekend, making a league record-tying 14 saves, and Brown tipped him to eclipse the likes of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar to become United's best ever stopper.
“He’s got a chance to become United’s greatest," Brown raved. "He’s been brilliant for three or four seasons now and under different managers he’s got United a lot of points from making unbelievable saves.
"He just continues to do that and that Arsenal game just reminded everybody just how brilliant he is. To get on that stage alongside Schmeichel and Van Der Saar you have to do it regularly and he is.”
Read the full 888sport interview with Wes Brown, including his thoughts on who are the top dogs of Manchester.