Man City defender, Pablo Zabaleta has said the absence of Sir Alex Ferguson won't mean anything when they travel to Old Trafford for this weekend's derby clash.

It's the first time in 26 years that a Manchester derby clash at Old Trafford will not be overseen be the Scot after he retired at the end of last season. Yet Zabaleta says it changes nothing.

"It won't be any different - even without Fergie they are still Man United." He told the Independent.

"Ferguson was a great manager and an important person for the club, and for their fans it was great to have him on the bench.

"But now it is a different part of history, and we have to respect David Moyes because he is the new manager.

"It was always tough for us to beat Everton when he was there.

"It is still United. They will come to the Etihad to try to win the game." He finished.

Both sides come into the game on the back of midweek wins in the Champions League, City beating Viktoria Plzen 3-0, while United triumphed over Bayer Leverkusen 4-2.

It will also be Manuel Pellegrini's first Manchester derby and in what is arguably Man City's biggest game of the season, City fans will be desperate to come away with three points and put a little distance between themselves and the Red Devils.

In a start that sees all the front-runners still bunched together tightly at the top, falling back on the rest of the competition is not something that either side can afford to do - something Zabaleta acknowledged.

"It's a special game, one you want to play in, and to win. We know how important it is to the Premier League."

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