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Is the Manchester Derby Being Oversold?

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Next Saturday's Manchester Derby is probably the most-hyped since April 2012 when the Premier League title was effectively decided in a 1-0 Blues victory the The Etihad Stadium.

But with both Manchester clubs storming out of the gates with nine points under world-renowned new managers in addition to being preceded by an international break the upcoming derby seems to at least matching the April 2012 meeting in terms of hype. In the United States where coverage of football has grown exponentially since 2012, this will be the most-hyped ever Manchester Derby.

It is important to remember this match is taking place on September 10 - only ten days after the transfer window shut and represents just the fourth fixture in a 38 game campaign. Of course, it can be argued this matchup is taking place before the sides are worn down by fixture congestion and responsibilities in other competitions.

Not having Sergio Aguero changes the relevance of this match as a barometer in many ways. The question becomes whether or not the Blues can cope without their talisman up front and how will Pep Guardiola's tactics work not using a pure number nine in the striker position.

For Manchester United, new signings continue to worked into the squad much like what will happen with City in time. Paul Pogba has had a successful start to life at Old Trafford, but only in time will we know if the Red Devils massive investment in the French midfielder was worth it - while the early returns have been promising, a case can be made that at least a half dozen central midfielders in English football are more effective in a box-to-box role.

Included in that list would be Fernandinho, whose start to life under Guardiola would indicate that the Blues did not need the services of a Pogba-like player because the club already posses one who unlike the Frenchman has won a Premier League title and is fully acclimated to the pace and power of the Premier League.

Raheem Sterling's outstanding start to his season has no doubt annoyed those on Fleet Street who are always so quick to make a mockery of his performances for England (perhaps because the only facts these writers care to know about Sterling was that he left Liverpool and joined Manchester City, is young and was not born in England) could effectively keep  big signing Leroy Sane out of the side for the foreseeable future.

For the two clubs who have made massive expenditures in the transfer market, the most impactful signing to this point is almost without argument Nolito whose under-the-radar capture for City from Celta Vigo wasn't sold as anything but a simple signing of a supplementary part.

It's nice for both clubs to have perfect records entering this derby but having a matchup between these two teams in early September might in fact make us feel cheated down the road that we had this match so early in the season - denying us one of the great matchups in English football at a time when both sides would have integrated all its core parts and be clicking on all cylinders.