Having already played friendlies against LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, United should have better match-fitness than their city rivals, who are playing the first of just four planned pre-season matches.
City have games against Real Madrid, Tottenham and West Ham to come after their derby clash, while United will play another four as they face Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valerenga and Sampdoria ahead of the new season.
Note: due to time difference, the game takes place early on Friday morning in the United Kingdom.
|Game||Manchester United vs Manchester City|
|Date||Thursday, July 20 / Friday, July 21|
|Time||20:30 (local) / 02:30 BST|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the United Kingdom, the match will be available to watch live on television on MUTV and by stream via MUTV online.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Fans in the United States can watch live on ESPN and stream live using ESPN's online player. The game can also be viewed in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
Man United have been in pre-season mode for the last two weeks and come into the derby encounter against Man City with two games already under their belt.
Red Devils fans have had a glimpse of new boys Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku, but Jose Mourinho has been given a number of injury scares already after intense matches against LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
Juan Mata is not likely to feature after sustaining a minor ankle injury in the win over Real Salt Lake, but Matteo Darmian could play a part after recovering from a nasty collision and joining in with training ahead of the game.
While Mourinho's men have already played two pre-season friendlies, Man City's first preparatory game comes against Man United and Pep Guardiola put his players through their paces in Houston on Tuesday.
New signings Kyle Walker and Ederson have been included in the squad and took part in training, so both players could well make their debuts for the club in a Manchester derby, while Nicolas Otamendi joined the panel having travelled separately from the rest of the group.
However, Bernardo Silva, who joins City from Monaco, and Claudio Bravo have not travelled to the US, because they have been given some extra time off following their involvement in the Confederations Cup with Portugal and Chile respectively.
Guardiola has also brought highly-rated youth players Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz, as well as Under-18 goalkeepers Daniel Grimshaw and Arijanet Muric.
Man City are slight favourites to win the first derby of the season at 6/4, according to dabblebet, while Man United are given at 13/8. A draw between the teams is priced at 12/15.
The clash between the Manchester rivals will give both teams their first taste of what is to come this season and, even though Mourinho played down the significance of the results in the International Champions Cup, bragging rights are nevertheless at stake in Houston.
"I don't know how they will look to the game, maybe the other teams will have the same philosophy as us, maybe not. I know Manchester City is our city rival, I know Real Madrid is the European champion but it’s not so important for us to play for a result."
The United boss used friendlies against LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake to experiment with tactics and personnel, but he has indicated that he will adopt a different approach to the ICC matches, with first-choice players likely to get more time on the pitch.
New signing Lukaku opened his account in a tempestuous game against RSL and the Belgium international will be keen to continue forging a relationship with his team-mates against sterner opposition. Mourinho has hinted that he will test out a partnership between Lukaku and Marcus Rashford at some stage, so the game against City could be the first time the pair play together.
Man City have opted for a less gruelling schedule than their United counterparts ahead of the new campaign and the game in Houston will be the first chance for Pep Guardiola to assess his new acquisitions Kyle Walker and Ederson in a real match situation.
The Catalan coach is likely to hand debuts to both players, while striker Gabriel Jesus will relish the opportunity to have a full pre-season at the club having had his maiden campaign frustratingly disrupted by injury.
Given that it is City's first pre-season game, Guardiola may be inclined to rotate his squad more than Mourinho, with games against Real Madrid and Tottenham coming in quick succession next week.