Jonny Evans is wary of Sunderland's new signings starting to gel as the Reds defender looks forward to locking horns with his former club.
The Belfast-born stopper spent two hugely successful loan spells at the Stadium of Light, scoring his only domestic senior goal for the club against Hull in 2007, and is still held in very high esteem by the Black Cats faithful.
With the Wearsiders showing signs of coming into form, Evans is aware United need to be prepared for a tough examination at Old Trafford on Saturday.
"Sunderland have had a bit of a slow start this season but I think Steve Bruce has bought a lot of new players and it’s taken some of them a while to gel," explained Evans. "But they’ve had a draw and a win in their last two games so they’ll be coming here wanting to put in a big performance.
"Steve Bruce’s teams always seem to do well in the [Barclays] Premier League and he’s a good manager. I’ve got a lot of fond memories from my time at Sunderland but I’ll be looking to do a job on Saturday and get three points before the international break."
Evans appreciates it's important the champions do not allow City to disappear any further into the distance in the title race with Roberto Mancini's team currently holding a five-point advantage at the top of the table.
"We’ve played quite a lot of the big teams around us," he explained. "I don’t think City have done that yet. Obviously they could go on and win all those games – we don’t know that yet – but we need to keep our run going and hope City slip up."
The centre-back is hoping to be part of a defence that is striving for a fourth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions following the costly collapse in the derby.
"I don’t think we’ve actually conceded that many goals," he reasoned. "It’s just the one game against City that’s cost us on that side of things. That’s made the statistics look bad. I think we’ve defended quite well.