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Police fear Manchester City vs Manchester United could be hit by drone-fuelled violence

This weekend is a big one in the world of domestic football. At lunchtime on Sunday, Manchester City and Manchester United face each other for the first time this season. A certain Louis van Gaal will also get his first meaty taste of a Manchester derby.

La Liga can keep the elegance, glitz and glamour of El Clasico; this is a game - with its raw passion, dynamism and often gung-ho tactics - that really gets my pulse racing.

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Over the years, this fixture has seen more than its fair share of goals, controversy, late drama and, unfortunately, crowd trouble. A couple of seasons ago, former United defender Rio Ferdinand was caught in the face with a coin thrown by a fan. In the same match, City goalkeeper Joe Hart had to physically restrain a troublemaker who'd invaded the pitch.

However, it looks like the drama might not be confined to the turf and stands this time round. According to the Daily Mail, Greater Manchester Police are concerned that drones are set to make an unwelcome appearance above the Etihad Stadium during this weekend's encounter.

This may initially sound like light-hearted issue, however, a recent Euro 2016 qualifying game between Serbia and Albania had to be abandoned after a drone dropped a flag emblazoned with a political symbol on the field of play, sparking a mass brawl between players and fans.

"We are well used to policing high-profile fixtures like this," said Superintendent Craig Thompson, who'll be heading up police operations on derby day. "I would urge fans to come to the game, enjoy the day and arrive well in time for the kick-off because of the building work going on around the ground. They will see plenty of police officers on the ground who are there to ensure their safety.

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"If there is any trouble or disorder, we will deal with it robustly."

City's defence has been uncharacteristically out-of-sorts of late, while United have one of the most ridiculously top-heavy sides ever assembled. As a fan of neither club, I just want to see poor organisation and lots of goals.

Image credit: EPA