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Manchester United V Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini Says Blues Aren't Derby Favourites (VIDEO)

25/03/2014 08:59 GMT | Updated 25/03/2014 08:59 GMT

Manuel Pellegrini might have more reason than any other Manchester City manager in history to adopt a position of superiority as he prepares to take his team to Manchester United for the first time in his career on Tuesday night.

Pellegrini's men sit 12 points clear of the champions in the Barclays Premier League table, and the Chilean knows extending that advantage will both boost City's title hopes and hand a crushing blow to David Moyes' shaky hopes of reaching Europe.

However, Pellegrini also sought to play down suggestions his side will start as favourites when they head to Old Trafford looking to reduce the gap on leaders Chelsea, whom they currently trail by six points with three games in hand.

manuel pellegrini david moyes

Pellegrini enjoyed a 4-1 rout of United on his Manchester derby debut

City's quest will be bolstered by the return of defender and captain Vincent Kompany after serving his one-game suspension for his sending-off at Hull, but striker Sergio Aguero is still ruled out.

Pellegrini said: "I don't think we are favourites in any game. We are in a good moment but we are playing against a big team in their own stadium so I don't think we are the favourites.

PHOTOS: Manchester Derby

"Of course we always expect to go and win every game but I repeat, just because Manchester United have had a difficult season it does not mean we are going to win. We have to go there and play a very good game."

"You don't have problems in that sense, mentally or physically. We are just trying to fight for the title. I know we must go game by game and we just have to win on Tuesday and then at Arsenal on Saturday after that."