The Red Devils head into the game as Manchester City’s closest challengers for the title following their incredible start to the new campaign.
Manchester United are currently second in the table and eight points behind Pep Guardiola’s men, who have only dropped two points in their opening 15 games of the new campaign.
The Red Devils know that a victory over their bitter local rivals on Sunday would move them to within five points of their neighbours heading into the hectic festive period in the Premier League.
However, former Arsenal star Merson is expecting to see the two teams share the spoils when they go head to head at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “United have to win, now they have beaten Arsenal.
“If they had drawn at Arsenal, a win over City would still leave them too far back. Now United have had two massive results at Watford and Arsenal, they actually have to take the game to City now.
“These are the games you look forward to all week, but often these games disappoint. This one will be different though. Jose Mourinho is a master in these big games at setting up to contain the opposition, but they really have to have a go on Sunday.
“Paul Pogba will be a big miss, and if he was playing, then I would go for United, but they will have enough not to get beaten. City are chasing records, so will also have a go. I can’t wait.”
Manchester United have not won the Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final campaign in charge in the 2012-13 season.
The Red Devils finished sixth in the table but still qualified for the Champions League thanks to their Europa League triumph in Jose Mourinho’s first campaign in charge last term.
They also won the League Cup and Community Shield last season.
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