The Manchester clubs have made a strong start to the campaign and already occupy the top two positions in the standings after an unbeaten opening four fixtures.
The table may already have a feel of inevitability about it as many predict the Premier League title will end up in Manchester come May.
Here, we outline why United and City could make it a two-horse race for the trophy.
Both clubs possess incredible options in attack. Zlatan Ibrahimovic signing a new deal is a huge boost for United. The Swede had an unusual first season at Old Trafford, scoring a lot of important goals but missing just as many big chances. Romelu Lukaku solves the problem, with his pace and mobility adding a different dimension to the Reds’ attack and with clinical finishing more at the heart of his game. Across the city, Pep Guardiola boasts the best offensive unit in the Premier League. Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Bernardo Silva will provide goals aplenty. Liverpool will not be the only team to have five or six goals put past them this season.
Second time’s a charm for Jose
When Jose is not busy winning the league title in his first year at a new club, he makes up for it by winning it in his second season – without fail! At Porto, Chelsea (the first time) and Inter, Mourinho won the league at the first attempt. He went on to deliver back-to-back titles in those jobs. Real Madrid and the second spell at Chelsea were the two occasions when the Portuguese had to wait until his second year in charge to be crowned a champion. This is his second season at United, could history be about to repeat itself once more?
A case for the defence
The ageing Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov were shipped out over the summer by Guardiola and replaced with Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy. But the acquisition of goalkeeper Ederson could make a huge difference for City after Claudio Bravo’s painful showing in his first season at the club. Ederson cost a fortune but he is a top class stopper and will help instil confidence in the defenders in front of him. Also, if Vincent Kompany can regain full fitness and is managed in a way that will enable him to play a significant chunk of games, then his leadership qualities will prove vital for City.
Matic makes the difference
Not United’s most glamorous summer signing but probably their most important. Already this season his presence as an accomplished holding midfielder has allowed Paul Pogba to thrive. Matic is trusted by Mourinho and his positional play, discipline, ability to break up opposition attacks and simple passing lets United’s flair players inflict damage. A round peg in a round hole – simple but effective.
Rivals are weaker
United and City had the best transfer windows of the clubs who would be considered title challengers, adding quality to their squads and strengthening in areas that clearly let them down last season. Champions Chelsea and Liverpool have the added strain of Champions League football this season and Arsenal are in the Europa League. It does not look like any of the trio used the transfer window effectively enough to mount a sustained challenge in all competitions. Meanwhile, Tottenham sold Walker to City and will be playing their home matches at Wembley – a move which could stunt the progress they have made in recent years.