Manchester City's manager, Roberto Mancini, seems to be as determined to play down the significance of Monday's derby as his opposite number at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, is to build it up as the title decider.
For both managers, it seems a calculated decision to either hype or undermine the game, knowing that City faltered in March and the start of April when the pressure for them to be champions was at its most intense. While victory would put City top on goal difference with two games of the Premier League season to go and in pole position to win a first championship since 1968, Mancini is adamant that this match has no more than its usual significance.
"The derby is always the game of the year," he said. "For the supporters, a derby is always a different game to the others. It is important for the city.
"Manchester has two top teams who are in a position to play this important game. But for us it will just be one more game, not because we fight for this or for that, and after it there are another two games, very tough games."