Kolo Toure believes that the Manchester derby is now the biggest game in English football.
Ahead of Monday’s clash, the City defender feels that the fixture is now the most hotly contested game that the Premier League has to offer.
Toure, a veteran of many North London derbies thanks to his time at Arsenal, thinks that the battle for Manchester should now be regarded as ‘England’s biggest game’ as it has many similarities compared with the meetings between the Gunners and Sir Alex Ferguson’s men at the turn of the millennium.
“Back when I was playing in North London derbies, it was only Arsenal and Manchester United fighting for the title and that was the biggest competition but today it's more like City and United," the 32-year old said, according to Manchester City website.
"It’s the biggest game of the season for both teams but also for the Premier League – it will be a big battle, a big fight again.
“We need to try and win this game - we don’t want other teams to catch us because we want to make sure we get second but at the same time we want to close the gap at the top.”
The Ivorian is confident heading into the game, and although it seems like the title will be heading to the red side of Manchester this season, Toure believes that the team will still give 100% for Roberto Mancini come Monday.
"It will be a tough game, we know the title is difficult and that they are in front of us," Toure added.
"It’s going to be really important mentally for us – we lost the game at home and it’s important for us to try and win it back. We played a great game against Newcastle but now we need to be focused, prepared and to give 100% on Monday.
"At least if we can win against them now, like I said it’s hard to win the title now but it’s still such an important game for us and we will approach it this way."
The Citizens are in fine form coming off the back of their 4-0 demolition of Newcastle United last weekend, and Toure believes that Monday’s game at the Etihad Stadium could well serve up the same sort of drama that the 3-2 defeat to the Red Devils did earlier in the season.
“I think it’s going to be a really open game, both teams will try to win, there’s nothing really to lose for either team,” he declared.
“I think that will be reflected in the style of match - I think both teams will be giving everything to try to give pride to their fans.”