Ryan Giggs says Monday night’s clash between Manchester United and Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium will be one the biggest for several years.
The game has been dubbed a ‘winner-takes-all affair’, with only three points separating the two sides in the Premier League title race and the finishing line in sight.
And Giggs, who has featured in 35 Manchester derbies, says it is games like this which give him the desire to keep on playing.
"These are the sort games which I am still involved in football for," the 38-year-old said.
“Obviously with three games to go and almost being neck-and-neck going to the finish there is no mistaking this is a massive game and the biggest in recent times.
"But as a United player, you're used to big games. You have to block out all the hype and the predictions. That's been going on all the season anyway, with people saying City were going to win the title and then United.
"It's different for the fans. I must admit it's hard but you have to be professional and not let emotions get too far ahead of you.”
Monday’s clash at the Eithad stadium might have been less decisive if United had not surrendered a two-goal lead late on in last Sunday’s 4-4 home draw with Everton.
But Giggs cites the squad’s ability to bounce back from several disappointments in this campaign as the reason why they are leading the way.
"We've had reminders throughout the season where we've lost games or put in poor performances and we've always reacted. That's one of the reasons we're still up there," he added.
"Hopefully, after the disappointment against Everton that's the case again."
A draw for United will leave them three points clear at the top, with just two games left to play, but Giggs is adamant that the Old Trafford side will be looking for maximum points.
"We've got to try and win," he insisted.
"Obviously if there's a few minutes to go and it's all square we won't be pushing six or seven players forward.
"But if we just try to defend all game we might come unstuck, so we'll go for it.
"I'm sure they will be fancying themselves to win because they're a good team and they're at home.
"But obviously the scenarios are more in our favour than City. We're Manchester United, we're the champions and we'll try and put out a statement that we deserve to win this league."
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