Early pace setters and bitter rivals United and City are set to battle it out against each other in the season’s first Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men will look to reclaim the top spot in the league when they take on Louis van Gaal’s rejuvenated Manchester United team in a hotly contested derby.

Both managers bolstered their squads by spending heavily in the summer transfer window in order to mount a serious title challenge this season. This is the first time since the 2004-05 season that both clubs go into the Manchester derby having won no trophies in the previous season.

Most expensive Manchester Derby ever

The 18-man squads selected by the two managers for Sunday’s matchup between the two bitter rivals makes it the most expensive Manchester Derby ever.

While Manchester United’s 18-man roster for Sunday’s derby is worth A?351 million, City’s squad value isn’t far behind — standing at A?312.8m. The total worth of the two 18-man squads selected by the two managers for their clash on Sunday stands at a staggering A?663.8 million.

Perhaps what makes this figure truly astonishing is the fact that the 36-man combined roster does not feature stellar names such as Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Samir Nasri and Luke Shaw — who are all out due to injury. The quartet alone are worth A?115 million.

Manchester City vs Juventus

City’s three most expensive signings in the summer — Kevin De Bruyne (A?54m), Raheem Sterling (A?49m) and Nicolas Otamendi (A?33m) are all expected to start the derby at the weekend.

Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United, on the other hand, spent most of their summer cash on Anthony Martial (A?36m), Morgan Schneiderlin (A?26m), Memphis Depay (A?25m) and Matteo Darmian (A?13m). All four of them will most likely feature against City as well.

Only the . Grande El Clasico, contested between Real Madrid and Barcelona, has featured players who are worth more (in excess of 1 billion euros) than the ones who are expected to feature in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Asked about the net spending of the two Manchester clubs in the summer, Louis van Gaal remarked, “When Manchester City or Manchester United are coming we always have to pay the highest price.

a When PSV or Ajax is coming they are not having to pay the same. We have sold a lot of players and never I have read it.

a We have not spent so much money because we received a lot back. Still it is not a interestinga . I shall be judged by the the results with that selection. That is the same at Manchester City.a

The final result of the Manchester derby between City and United will unquestionably answer a pertinent question — who spent more money more wisely.