The two clubs meet at Old Trafford on Sunday (KO 14:05).
The showdown will pit first place City against third place United with just two points separating the teams.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men started the season in imperious form but have since dipped and with Sergio Aguero and David Silva missing through injury, the fear-factor around them has diminished slightly.
United have been solid yet unspectacular, but look an ever-increasing threat with the likes of Anthony Martial and Morgan Schneiderlin setting in at Old Trafford.
“It’s very difficult to call right now,” wrote Keown in his Daily Mail column.
“Wayne Rooney always seems to save something special for this game but he’s not been at his best. I don’t think United are that far away from getting it right and home advantage could be key.
“Man City without Sergio Aguero don’t frighten me anymore. But you can never tell, Yaya Toure is starting to purr again and they have match winners – Sterling, De Bruyne.
“Looking at the bigger picture a draw might be enough for City but if they lose it would be typical of the Premier League season we’re having. That’s why I’m going with a United win,” he added.
United fans will be hoping the ex-Arsenal defender is right but will not be buoyed by their recent results against their local rivals.
City have won four out of the last five Premier League meetings in what has been a mark of their progress in recent years.
History is just that however, and Louis van Gaal’s men have as good a chance of picking up the three points as they have done in a long time.