Micah Richards wants the Blues to put down a marker when they face United in the Community Shield at Wembley.
He accepts that the showpiece Wembley match will not shape the Barclays Premier League campaign but gets annoyed when anyone labels the latest derby a ‘friendly’.
“Whenever you are wearing the sky Blue shirt and playing against United, whether it is a under 15s game, an under 18s game or an FA Cup semi-final, there is a special edge to it,” he said.
“We always want to beat them and they always want to beat us so it should be one of the more competitive Community Shield matches. It means something every time the two clubs meet.
“Our pre-season has been really good. There has been a great atmosphere in the camp and we have a lot of confidence going into the season.
“There is great competition for places and that will drive us on even more but we are all ready to fight for one another.”
Sergio Aguero’s arrival has added a new dimension to the Blues’ potential line up with Richards particularly excited to see the Argentine in competitive action whether that comes at Wembley or against Swansea in the Premier League opener.
“He is an exciting player,” confirmed Richards. “There are flashes of David Silva when you watch him and flashes of Carlos Tevez too.
Just like the other lads who have come in this summer he has settled in really quickly and fitted in well
“There is a real family atmosphere about the dressing room. We know we did well last season but we are determined to do even better this time around.
“I think our training has been really good and the performances in pre-season have all been of a high standard so we are looking for to the action starting.”