Paul Scholes has admitted that Manchester United are desperate to stay above Manchester City.
The teams are set to lock horns at Eastlands on Wednesday in the latest instalment of a rivalry that has taken on added significance since Sheikh Mansour took control at City.
It is no longer just bragging rights at stake as City are now regarded as genuine challengers in every competition they enter and the result of the midweek clash could have a major influence on the title race.
Scholes accepts that United would prefer City not to win anything so their trophy drought extends beyond its current 34 years.
"We want to win trophies, but we can't win everything and while we don't get the option of choosing who wins the other, there are some teams you would rather do it and others you would prefer not to," explained the midfielder.
"We are all desperate to stay above City. That goes for everyone.
"Even a 21-year-old newcomer to the club will feel the same way.
"We wouldn't like City to win anything in much the same way as they wouldn't want us to win anything else."
Scholes has always felt passionate about derby encounters after growing up in the city and spending his entire career with United.
"Every derby game I have been involved with has always been massive," he said.
"The atmosphere is great, as I am sure it will be on Wednesday.
"Maybe City expect a bit more than they have done in the past and rightly so with the money they have spent and the players they have bought.
"That expectation has not always been there in the past."
City bounced back from a slight wobble to beat West Brom on Sunday, with Carlos Tevez returning to the team following injury.
The former United player has made a huge impression since moving to Eastlands and Scholes prefers not to enter the debate about controversial comments Tevez has made in the past about his time at Old Trafford.
"The Tevez factor does not play any part," he said.
"He was a top player for this club and decided to move elsewhere. That is the end of it.
"The fact is City are a top team. They have spent a lot of money on quality players and had a great start to the season.
"Maybe they have come unstuck a little bit lately but form does go out of the window on occasions such as this. Anything can happen on derby night."
Scholes has also offered his backing to fellow midfielder Michael Carrick, who is emerging as a pivotal figure once more after a tough start to the campaign.
"Michael did struggle with injuries earlier this season but we all know what a top quality player he is," said Scholes.
"He can run all day, make great passes and is capable of scoring goals as well as making them.
"He is a solid, big presence in the centre of midfield. Now we are starting to see the benefit of him getting games.
"His sharpness has gradually returned so hopefully the form he has shown in the last few matches will continue because he is a big part of the team."