David Moyes will aim to quieten talk over his Manchester United future by denting Manchester City's title hopes at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Victories over Olympiacos and West Ham, the former overturning a 2-0 UEFA Champions League last-16 deficit to secure United's progression, have served to dampen criticism of the Scot.
However, Moyes knows murmurings could intensify if seventh-placed United again come up short at home against a bitter rival following the recent 3-0 home loss to Liverpool.
While the Old Trafford faithful will be far from satisfied by another game in which their sole aim is to hinder a rival's Premier League title aspirations, a triumph would be a feather in the cap of the United boss.
"We'll go into our next game confident and ready to get a result," said a bullish Moyes after Saturday's 2-0 win at Upton Park.
For City, the game carries similar significance at the start of what will likely prove a season-defining run of fixtures.
Currently six points behind leaders Chelsea with three games in hand, Manuel Pellegrini's men head to their neighbours brimming with confidence after a 5-0 drubbing of Fulham at the weekend.
But City will be aware, too, that the derby precedes trips to Arsenal and Liverpool, which sandwich a tricky home game against Southampton.
Pellegrini will not be able to call on the services of key striker Sergio Aguero, who is another week away from fitness as he continues his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury.
However, Edin Dzeko looks set to be fit after being taken ill before the Fulham game and Stevan Jovetic should also be available having returned from injury for the final eight minutes on Saturday.
"I think that this team doesn't depend just on one striker," said Pellegrini. "Maybe in the last week we had some problems with Aguero and Jovetic.
"Now Jovetic is coming back and I hope Aguero will be next week with the team. If they don't score there are other players that will do it."
Chief among the supporting cast is Yaya Toure, who boasts 16 Premier League goals this term following his hat-trick against Fulham.
Moyes will, therefore, be buoyed to have Rio Ferdinand available having been forced to deploy Michael Carrick at centre-back versus West Ham.
Ferdinand was rested at the weekend, but United will again be without Nemanja Vidic, who serves the second of his two-game ban.
At the other end, Moyes will surely deploy Juan Mata behind Wayne Rooney again as Robin van Persie continues to be sidelined.
City, boosted by the return of captain Vincent Kompany from a ban, head to United following four successive Premier League clean sheets and bidding for a third straight victory at Old Trafford in a row.
Pellegrini's men were also 4-1 winners when the sides met back in September at the Etihad Stadium.
|Coach: D. Moyes|
for T. Cleverley 46'
for M. Fellaini 66'
for D. Welbeck 76'
|Hero Bacca grateful for Europa League triumph|
|Markevych rues defensive errors in Dnipro defeat|
|AFC Champions League Review: Naft Tehran fairytale continues|
|Emery: We deserved Europa League success|
|Dnipro 2 Sevilla 3: Bacca brace sees holders make history|
|South Africa 0 Malawi 0 (4-5 on penalties): Harawa heroics send Bafana Bafana out|
|CONCACAF and CONMEBOL respond to arrests in FIFA scandal|
|FIFA president Blatter welcomes investigations as corruption probe rocks world football|
|UEFA calls for FIFA elections to be postponed|
|BREAKING NEWS: Advocaat exits Sunderland and retires from club management|
|La Liga: Real Madrid season review - Ancelotti pays the price for disappointing season|
|Zambia 3 Ghana 0: First-half spree does the damage|
|Barnes suffers double knee ligament injury|
|Balotelli to stay at Liverpool - agent|
|Kane at the double in friendly win|
|Norwich make Dorrans switch permanent|
|Ings unsure of next move|
|Bournemouth snap up Federici|
|FIFA ´crisis´ cannot continue - Prince Ali|
|Barton headlines QPR exits|
|Juan demands more from Inter|
|Stoke snap up Haugaard|
|Subotic commits to Dortmund|
|Warner pleads innocence after US indictment|
|Napoli to refuse questions on Benitez´s future|
|USDoJ names indicted FIFA officials|
|Wenger coy over Vidal and Benzema moves|
|Suarez back in training ahead of Copa final|
|Pique: I´ll retire at Barca|
|Gerrard ´blown away´ by Liverpool send-off|
|FIFA ´very happy´ with Zurich arrests|
|Liverpool defender Toure targeting trophies|
|Ramsey eyeing title assault|
|Welbeck out of FA Cup final and England matches|
|FIFA the ´injured party´ as Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings|
|Prince Ali saddened by FIFA arrests|
|Pellegrini to make City defence a priority|
|Labbadia giving Lasogga, Olic, Jiracek time|
|Ramsey confident on Wembley chances|
|Swiss authorities confirm FIFA arrests|
|El Shaarawy open to Premier League move - agent|
|Reports: FIFA officials set to be arrested|
|Tigres UANL 2 Emelec 0 (2-1 agg): Mexicans through to Libertadores semis|
|Valencia ruled out of Copa America|
|Coleman: Bale being ignored by Real team-mates|
|Ruddy eyes England recall|
|Benteke will strike fear into Arsenal - Westwood|
|Howe named LMA Manager of the Year|
|Casillas reiterates desire to stay in Madrid|
|Dnipro players pay for fans´ tickets, transport|
|Galliani: I want Ancelotti back at Milan|
|Premier League: Manchester City season review - Frustrations as latest title defence falters|
|Injured Benfica star Salvio not for sale|
|AFC Champions League Review: Al Sadd suffer last-16 exit|
|Emery targeting historic victory|
|Toure and Wisdom pen new Liverpool deals|
|Stadium facilities drive Van Gaal potty|
|Blatter brushes off Figo´s ´dictatorship´ claims|
|Mavuba to end career at Lille after extending contract|
|Ipswich´s Bishop charged over betting breaches|
|Markevych admits to Dnipro nerves|
|Relegated Almeria to be deducted three points|
|Reims retain Guegan on one-year deal|
|Di Matteo departure could hinder Schalke swoop for Khedira|
|Bale planning Real Madrid stay|
|Del Bosque not prepared to risk Costa|
|West Ham earn Europa League berth|
|Pellegrini sure City will win title back|
|Low calls Herrmann into Germany squad|
|Gerrard will win trophies with Galaxy - Carragher|
|Frankfurt agree to let Schaaf leave|
|Hernandez hit with violent conduct charge|
|Bale set for 50th Wales cap against Belgium|
|Baines hoping for pre-season return|
|Bournemouth sign Boruc|
|Sevilla duo Rico and Vidal handed Spain calls|
|Premier League: Chelsea season review - Mourinho´s men canter to title|
|Speroni hints at possible Palace exit|
|Kane states Tottenham commitment|
|Boruc, Hooiveld leave Southampton|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain desperate to make FA Cup final|
|Roar turn to Aloisi|
|Di Matteo resigns as Schalke coach|
|Hughes hints at Moses return|
|Wenger hits out at scheduling|
|Terry backs Chelsea to dominate|
|Jets part ways with coach Stubbins|
|Kewell would love to manage Liverpool|
|Janmaat: Newcastle players failed Carver|
|Adelaide step up interest in Toni|
|Chelsea´s Drogba interested in MLS move|
|Otamendi wants to leave Valencia - agent|
|Benitez almost certain for Real job|
|Schneiderlin will leave for Champions League club|
|Kane planning to come back bigger and better|
|Moyes staying at Sociedad|
|Neil revels in Norwich promotion|
|Drogba interested in MLS move|