Despite dropping just two points in their opening seven Premier League games, finding the net on an incredible 24 occasions, Manchester United headed into the current international break boasting a single goal advantage over City, who have also drawn just once.
Little wonder it has led to many pundits predicting an all-Mancunian title carve-up.
It has certainly heightened anticipation for the first derby clash of the season, at Old Trafford on October 23, although Ferguson insists the Blues' fast start has not caught him by surprise.
"I've said all along that would happen," Ferguson told Inside United.
"They are a good team and they were always going to be there or thereabouts.
"Sergio Aguero was bound to do well, coming into the Premier League, because he is such a goal threat around the penalty box. David Silva is also a very good player.
"We just have to make sure we are ready for City when we meet them."
Previously, Ferguson has cheekily suggested Liverpool were United's true derby rivals.
Sheikh Mansour's £1billion investment in City has changed all that, with the plethora of stars working under the guidance of Roberto Mancini bringing an extra dimension to the fixture.
"All derbies are big now, that is the nature of the landscape," said Ferguson.
"The impetus City now have - they have a huge squad of players and the financial power to attract some of the best footballers in the world - actually changes the focus of the derby these days.
"The talking point isn't so much the actual game but the dynamics of how Manchester City have changed football and what we do to compete with that."
Yet, ahead of that game, the Red Devils must visit Anfield to face the team they deposed as England's most successful club in May, when they clinched a record 19th league title.
Liverpool have been difficult opponents to overcome in recent seasons though, with Dirk Kuyt bagging a hat-trick in last term's corresponding fixture.
"We have been poor there of late," said Ferguson.
"On a couple of occasions we have been out-fought by them, which is disappointing.
"The atmosphere plays a part. Every time we go there it is as if it's the biggest game of the century."