Wayne Rooney claims Manchester United consider meetings with Liverpool to be their biggest games of the season, not derby dates with City.
Manchester rivalries will be rekindled on Sunday when United make the short trip to the Etihad Stadium.
With the Red Devils and their 'noisy neighbours' having shared Premier League title successes in the last two seasons, they can claim to be the top two sides in the country right now.
Rooney, though, claims that clashes with old adversaries Liverpool mean more to the players than fixtures which have local pride at stake.
"They're all big games. Obviously United and Liverpool has been a massive game over the years," Rooney said in The Daily Mirror when asked if United versus City is now the biggest rivalry in English football.
"City have had their success recently, but I would probably say that United and Liverpool is still the biggest game."
City won the Premier League title in dramatic fashion two seasons ago on goal difference before Sir Alex Ferguson led the Red Devils to the final title of his highly decorated career last term ahead of his retirement.
However, Rooney does not think this weekend's fixture will define the 2013/14 campaign.
"The English players are more aware of what it means after the last four or five years," the 27-year-old said.
"It's a big game and we'll be going there hopefully to win. I've scored a few goals against City and I'm looking forward to the match.
"It's a massive game between two title contenders. It's not going to define the season, but it's a big game, a local derby."