Manchester City currently have a healthy lead at the top of the table after Sterling was back in the team and helped City to a 4-1 win over Wolves in midweek, before Sunday's crucial derby. Not only would victory at the weekend earn the local bragging rights, but also extend their lead in the league to their closest pursuers still further.
When the whistle is blown on Sunday afternoon, it will be the 185th meeting between the two sides. Manchester United have won an impressive 76 of those, with Manchester City coming out victorious 55 times. 53 games have resulted in draws.
The two clubs' first meeting took place in 1891.
Tip for the Fixture
It is one of the anomalies of Sterling's fine career that his record against Manchester United is substandard compared to the majority of teams in England.
Sterling has played against the Red Devils 22 times, and has won just eight of those games. He's been on the receiving end of a defeat 11 times, and has drawn on three occasions.
In those games, the Englishman has never managed to score a single goal.
Sterling has managed to score nine goals so far this season in the Premier League, four of which have come in his last six Premier League appearances.
Manchester City did win the two side's last meeting 2-0 at Old Trafford in January in the EFL Cup semi-final.
Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City
6 January 2021
This was the last time the two Manchester giants met, with a single-leg EFL Cup semi-final with a place at Wembley on the line.
Sterling nearly provided an assist to the first goal of the game, but Kevin De Bruyne's thunderous strike cannoned off the post.
John Stones gave Pep Guardiola's side the lead after 50 minutes, bundling home Phil Foden's delicious free-kick from close range.
Fernandinho then doubled the Sky Blues' lead after 83 minutes, with a crisp volley from outside the penalty, after a City corner had been initially cleared.
Manchester City will get their first attempt at silverware this season when they face Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the EFL Cup on 25 April.
Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City
24 April 2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side had the chance to derail Manchester City's charge towards the Premier League title in this one, but it was the Etihad outfit who left Old Trafford with a vital three points.
Again, the goalmouth action took place in the second period, and it was Bernado Silva who gave the visitors the lead nine minutes after the break.
The Portuguese went on an intricate run before dragging his effort into the bottom corner.
Sterling provided Leroy Sane with an assist to give his side a 2-0 and unassailable lead on the afternoon. Sane fired his shot from 18 yards through David de Gea, who should've done better.
City went on to win the league by a point to Liverpool in second place.
Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United
7 April 2018
This game will live long in the memories of both sets of supporters in Manchester, as a Premier League classic took place in 2018.
City started the game like a house on fire and took the lead after 25 minutes, Vincent Kompany found a little bit of space in the United area to get on the end of Sane's corner and head an easy header into the net.
Guardiola's men doubled their lead five minutes later, when Sterling played a pass into Ilkay Gundogan, who turned expertly in the area before scooping the ball home.
Manchester United returned from the break all guns blazing and soon had a pathway back into the game; a fabulous attacking move resulted in Ander Herrera's cushioned pass off his chest fall into the path of the on-rushing Paul Pogba who lofted the ball over Ederson and into the net.
Pogba had his second two minutes later as he managed to ghost in behind the City defence to get on the end of Alexis Sanchez's lovely lofted cross to head past Ederson.
United's winner came after 69 minutes through the unlikely source of Chris Smalling. It was Sanchez again who provided a terrific cross for Smalling to get in behind and smash home from six yards.
Manchester City won the league by 19 points in the end, becoming the first team ever to reach 100 points in the Premier League. Manchester United finished in second.