THE Manchester derby doesn't need any side issues to stoke up the fans' interest.

But the prospect of Diego Forlan coming up against the Manchester City defence is a mouthwatering prospect.

The Uruguayan striker's 32-game United career has so far failed to produce a single goal from open play.

But judging from City's inept defensive displays he is never going to get a better chance of shaking off that nice round figure than at Maine Road on November 9.

The man nicknamed Sally Gunnell in the Old Trafford dressing room for his blond flowing locks and pretty boy looks has found more insurmountable hurdles in front of goal than his former 400m hurdles Olympic gold medallist lookalike encountered in her entire career.

Defenders, goalkeepers, posts, blades of grass, you name it, they've all proved capable obstacles to Forlan's ambition of scoring a goal other than one penalty which was generously gifted to him by a team-mate.

United say he is one of the most prolific and natural goalscorers in training but they would say that wouldn't they, having spent £8m of fans' and shareholders money on him.

As one of only three specialist strikers on the books, Forlan is virtually guaranteed to get a runout at some stage in Maine Road's next but one game. And never will he have a better chance of breaking his duck than against a defence which finds it as difficult keeping the ball out of the net as Forlan has putting it in.

The easily moveable object against the unformidable force, it should be a tasty side dish to what promises to be a feast of goals with yet another 3-3 thriller looking a distinct possibility in my book.