RYAN GIGGS has admitted games like tonight's Manchester derby are the reason why he is still playing at the highest level.
The Welsh midfielder is expected to play his part in the action at the Etihad stadium with the world of football eagerly watching on as both clubs meet in the potential title-decider.
If he plays, it will be the 38-year-old's 908th game for the Old Trafford club, with the veteran admitting he still gets his kicks by playing on the big stage for United.
He said: "These are the sort of games that I am still involved in football for.
"They are big, title-deciding games. Apart from cup finals this is as big as you can get."
With United just three points in front but with a significantly inferior goal difference, Giggs knows failure for Sir Alex Ferguson's side would result in City taking top spot in the Premier League.
Conversely, victory, or even a draw, would almost guarantee a record 20th league title with only two games left.
Giggs added: "They've been saying for the last two or three years that every derby is the biggest ever.
"With three games to go and both teams almost neck-and-neck going to the finish, there is no mistaking this is a massive game and the biggest in recent times.
"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.
"We're Manchester United, we are the champions and we'll try and put out a statement that we deserve to win this league."
Meanwhile, in the blue half of Manchester, City boss Roberto Mancini claims his players are holding their nerve as the hype builds ahead of tonight's showdown.
The Italian said: "It is impossible to be worried for Monday yet. It is football, not work.
"Maybe Monday morning there will be pressure, but this is normal for us or for United. But not now, I don't think this."
Mancini first wrote off his side's title prospects after a damaging defeat at Arsenal three weeks ago left them trailing by eight points.
But despite City's resurgent form, the Italian is continuing to keep his players' feet on the ground.
He said: "Now we have this small chance but I think it is important that after Arsenal we just continue to play football.
"We have only one chance because they lost two points against Everton, but I think it will be difficult.
"It is clear if we have a chance – we want to take that chance – but I don't know."