Former City skipper Andy Morrison is urging the Blues to go into the derby with confidence - and caution.
Morrison, a cult figure among City fans for his pivotal role in helping the Club turn its fortunes around during the 1998/99 season in the third tier of English football, also led the team out at Wembley in the 1999 play-off final against Gillingham.
“We can’t let the magnitude of the occasion affect our performance,” said Morrison.
“I’m not going to reel off a load of clichés about how this is just another game because it’s not – it’s perhaps the most important game in the Club’s history, but even if we win, it’s far from over.
“What I hope more than anything is that the game isn’t decided by a controversial sending off or a penalty. I hope it’s a game that is won by great football and I hope all our lads come off at the end knowing they gave everything, regardless of the result.
“What we don’t want is to have any regrets. It’s incredible that we’ve got ourselves back into contention and to be given a second chance when all seemed lost is too good an opportunity to pass up.”
Morrison, who played for City between 1998 and 2002 and recently released a critically acclaimed autobiography, spent the last two years of his time with the Blues battling against a knee injury that would eventually force him to retire aged 31.
The derby, however, is not his only concern.
“If we beat United, there is still a lot of hard work to do and we can’t spend too long celebrating,” he warned.
“We still have to go to Newcastle, who have been flying lately, and then we will need to beat QPR who may need points to stay up.
It’s a fascinating situation and if we play the way we have been doing of late, we are more than capable of taking nine points and winning the title
Morrison is also convinced one man could prove to be the difference next Monday evening. He said: “I think the derby is all set up for Carlos Tevez to show the world what an asset he can be. He looks happy and is firing on all cylinders and is just reaching his peak form at the perfect time.
“It’s going to be an incredible match – the biggest derby ever – and it’s just too close to call. I won’t make any predictions but just hope we give it everything because if we do, we won’t go far wrong.”