Manchester City and Manchester United were expected to battle each other for the Premier League title when the season started, but their match-up on Thursday will decide their fate in the battle for a Champions League qualification.
Both teams have had their problems, haven't played as well as they should and have spent a lot of money on signings that haven't really become the stars we expected. Still, at least from City's perspective, one thing has affected their chances to win titles this season: refereeing.
It sounds like a lame excuse, but it's undeniable that City haven't been lucky when it comes to decisions from the referees. Against Arsenal on Sunday's FA Cup semi-final, they had a clear penalty and a goal denied in the first half, and it's quite clear the game would have been different had City gone into halftime with a one- or two-goal lead.
This was the latest example of poor refereeing in City matches, so there'll be a lot of pressure on Martin Atkinson in the Derby on Thursday. So Yaya Touré has an idea: maybe we shouldn't have a referee at all!
"I think the referees have to stop this. I am very disappointed. It is not the first time, there have been a couple of times.
"If we have to talk about referees, people are going to say 'we complain' but when we see the highlights, for me it is very disappointing.
"Maybe on Thursday we are going to have a better referee or maybe play without a referee - I'd prefer that."
Touré may be in trouble with the FA for his comments because OF COURSE, but Touré is aware he might be punished and is still willing to speak up anyway.
"But what can we do? If we talk about the referee the FA is going to come in for the punishment if we think like that, but I think I need to sleep and rest and forget [the Arsenal] game.
"They're a great club, great players. They played well and I think they deserved the win but at the end of the day we are very sad because when we see afterwards the highlights - the big mistake of the referee."
Of course we will get a referee on Thursday, but regardless of Martin Atkinson's performance in the Derby, Yaya expects a tough match that will have a big impact in the Top4 race.
"It is going to be difficult, it is very tight. United are doing well, Arsenal are going to have confidence and Liverpool lost but it is not finished yet. This league is going to be very tough.
"It is a very big game, an important game. We have to do the job and we will see what can happen. We hope we are going to have a good referee."
Source: Sky Sports