The Premier League champions huffed and puffed their way to a 2-0 Uefa Champions League win against Romanian title winners Otelul Galati in Bucharest on Tuesday thanks to two Wayne Rooney penalties.
The result moved the three-time winners into second spot behind Benfica in Group C - and the focus is now firmly on reminding Roberto Mancini's men that United remain the top dogs domestically.
A 4-1 rout against Aston Villa lifted City above United at the top of the table at the weekend and expectation is high among the blue contingent of Manchester that the Reds' rule of supremacy is nearing an end. Those looking at the football betting online will be expecting a close game on Sunday.
City have not beaten United at Old Trafford in all competitions since February 2008 – the 150th Mancunian derby – and on that day they snapped a losing run at the home of their rivals dating back to 1974. It was also the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster.
Fans have seen Man United bowling over opponents this season their but the arrival of a raft of marquee signings, including the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero, has given weight to the suggestion that a power shift in Manchester is looming.
For his part, Ferguson will not entertain such a notion and is confident United's "noisy neighbours" will be brought back down a peg when the two sides clash on Sunday.
"The last couple of years they [the derbies] have become more intense and there is more importance attached to them," Ferguson told Sky Sports.
"On Sunday it's top of the league and second-top, and it really builds up into a fantastic prospect for everyone. I am looking forward to that."