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Media Watch: Manchester Derby special

Today’s the day… the one we have been waiting for.

It’s the material childhood dreams are built from – City have the chance to win the Premier League title this evening with a victory over neighbours Manchester United.

Anticipation is building and with a record number of televisions broadcasters set to attend the game at the Etihad Stadium, the world will be watching the eagerly-awaited 176th Manchester derby.

With such an incredible plot, the potential fairytale script has been discussed for months. Only time will tell whether it unfolds tonight.

Should it do so, lifting the title would be ‘a dream come true’ for John Stones, who has shared his thoughts ahead of the clash with Sky Sports.

The defender admitted clinching the league crown against United would be ‘a bonus’ but asserted the Blues are remaining grounded, ignoring the intriguing subplots and focusing on the task at hand.

"The term 'dream come true' sums it up really," he declared. "I never thought as a kid I would be challenging for the title, or within touching distance.

"All I have ever wanted to do in football is win trophies - I have won my first trophy already this season and hopefully I will get my dream trophy by the end of the season in the Premier League.

"It would mean a lot [to win it against United]. If it was the other way around, I am sure they would say the same.

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“You do not want it to happen – it is the bragging rights of the city, and I knew that from derbies I had played in Liverpool.

"It is the game you do not want to lose and we are not treating it any differently or overlooking things too much. We know the job that is in front of us. It is a massive game and a massive derby and we have to win.

"For the city, for our fans, for everyone, I am sure it will mean a lot more beating United to the title. It is that extra bonus for people to say.

"But we are treating it as another game and a derby is as derby games are.”

Asked how he would feel, lifting the Premier League trophy, he continued: “It is hard to say as until you get it in your hands – you do not know how it is going to feel.

“We still have games if things do not go well, but we want to win it on Saturday if possible.

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"It is iconic around the world and in my opinion, the most difficult league in the world, so everyone watches it. To play in it, be able to fight for it and hopefully lift it, is something I am very proud of and hopefully I can do.

"And the manner in which we have done it is even more satisfying for me as a player and how we play. I am a big believer in this style of play going forward and the manager and player we have got fit this perfectly.

"But there is still work to be done and I do not want to jump the gun and we have to keep dreaming."

Fernandinho has of course tasted Premier League success with City before, and the Brazilian midfielder is excited at the prospect of doing so again, particularly for his teammates.

“I miss it because it was a long time ago [when we won it last]," he admitted, as reported in the Manchester Evening News.

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"We are close but we still have a job to do on Saturday. We have a real chance to become champions.

"I'll be really happy for that, but especially I'll be happy for the players that are going to win it for the first time: Kyle Walker, [Raheem] Sterling, [John] Stones, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson, Danilo, etc.

"They are going to have the feeling of winning the Premier League which is one of the best championships in the world.”

Elsewhere, there’s a word or two from our opponents, as Jose Mourinho has bid to ease the pressure on his players, asserting losing at the Etihad Stadium would not be ‘the end of the world’.

Speaking in his press conference, he recalled: “I won the title at Chelsea against United. We beat United 3-0 and we won the title, at Stamford Bridge, in 2005-06.

“It was not the end of the world, Manchester United didn't finish. It was just football.

"The only thing I can say is that we want to win. We don't want to offer them the game. We want to go there, we want to compete and win the match if possible.

"We have more points than last season [after 31 games, 68 to 61], more goals scored [60 to 46], less goals conceded [23 to 24] but City made it impossible for the others. So, congratulations for the great Premier League season they are doing.

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“And the moment they become champions, which will be sooner rather than later, I will react the same way other people reacted when I won three titles in this country."

Midfielder Jesse Lingard echoed his manager’s sentiments, insisting United have no extra incentive to spoil City’s party.

“You have to go into it like any other game because if you let other things come into play it might affect your performance,” he said.

“We have performed well there before so I don’t see why we can’t do it again.”

Meanwhile, the pundits of the footballing world have shared their predictions.

Former Blue Shay Given told Tag Heuer: “It’s going to be quite a tight game I think.

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“I think Mourinho is going to come and be quite defensive but I still think Man City are going to be too strong. I’m going to go for 2-0 to Man City.”

He added: “You couldn’t write it any better than that. I just think it’d be perfect to do it in your own backyard against your rivals from across the city. It’d be the perfect ending to an incredible season.”

Ex-Red Paul Ince has been impressed with the Blues’ style of football.

Quoted in the Express, he stated: “If we’re being honest, Man United fans have been frustrated all year because of the way City have been playing football.

"The way they’ve been cutting teams apart and playing attacking football is how they wish Mourinho’s men were playing.”

Share your thoughts ahead of the game on Twitter @ManCity using #cityview, and cast your predictions for the starting XI, result and scorers in the CityMatchday app.

Picture Special

Up next... Derby Day

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Record number of broadcasters to attend derby

GLOBAL INTEREST: Saturday’s clash will see the Etihad Stadium host a record 28 Premier League broadcast partners, with crews attending from across the globe...

City's have rewritten the history books on so many occasions during this remarkable campaign... and the Blues are set to smash another record this weekend.

The match will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports and the international broadcasters in attendance will include NBC Sports (USA), beIN Sports (Middle East and North Africa), DirecTV Latin America (South America exc. Brazil), ESPN Brasil and, attending their first Premier League match, RCTi (Indonesia). All the outlets are sending their own television crews and reporters.

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Business as usual for Guardiola ahead of derby

PREVIEW: Pep Guardiola addresses the media ahead of the Manchester derby.

Pep Guardiola has refused to place any extra-significance on Saturday’s Manchester derby, even though victory would see City clinch the Premier League title.

The Catalan was keen to stress that he will be approaching it like any other game and is not entertaining any ideas of how his side might celebrate.