The mental game will be crucial in the Manchester derby
Last Updated: April 24, 2012 5:23pm
Ferguson and Mancini: title rivals
Former United captain Bryan Robson insists Monday's Manchester derby, which could be decisive in the Premier League title race, is too close to call.
Man City v Man United
7pm, Mon, Sky Sports 1 HD
Also showing on Sky 3D
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record
"I don't think there will be much in the game and it could end as a draw, which would keep things very interesting."
Bryan Robson Quotes of the week
Manchester City go in to the match three points behind United with a superior goal difference, meaning the winner will be in pole position to be crowned Champions.
Both teams have faltered at various stages in the title run-in, with United most recently letting two points slip against Everton at the weekend.
And Robson believes the side that can rise to the magnitude of the occasion and overcome the pressure will come out on top at the Etihad Stadium.
"I think it will be a really tough game for both sides," he told Sky Sports News. "City are back in form and they have played very well in the last few games.
"But on their day United can pick their game up and they are a challenge for anybody. They have got loads of experience for the big games.
"So it will be a great atmosphere. It will be how the teams can handle the atmosphere and occasion, and the set of players that can stay mentally focused and calm will probably go on to win the game.
"Some players in this situation can keep nice and calm and play the football the way they have all season. If you can do that it will help you.
"If you get carried away and start doing things that you don't normally do and you get nervous, that is when performances deteriorate.
"I don't think there will be much in the game and it could end as a draw which would keep things very interesting."
Robson insists Manchester United's greater title-winning experience does not necessarily make them favourites.
The former England skipper is backing his former club to still take the title, although he expects the drama to run beyond Monday's derby, citing City's trip to Newcastle as a potentially decisive moment.
"United fans and players are used to this challenge every season," he added. "For the last 20 years, Sir Alex has had the players up there challenging for titles so I think they will be a little more used to it but that does not mean they will win the game.
"City have got some great players and are a good team, so it will be a tough game for both sides. I am going to go for a draw and I still think that Manchester United will win the title because I think that City have a really tough game up at St James' Park.
"If Manchester united win that is probably going to be the title over with but if Manchester City win then people will say City are the ones that will win the title.
"But Newcastle - my home town - have been doing great this season and City have to go up there and it will not be an easy game.
"So there will still be twists and turns as the season goes on."