Win and we'll dominate English football for years, claims Mancini
23:28 GMT, 29 April 2012
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes victory in the thrilling Barclays Premier League title race with neighbours United could see his club dominate English football for years to come.
Mancini’s team will top the league on goal difference with two games to go if they can beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in what has been billed as the most important Manchester derby ever at a packed Etihad Stadium on Monday night.
On Sunday Mancini said: 'It is important that we don’t win just one championship. I want to leave a legacy.
In their hands: Manchester City can grab the title if they win their remaining matches
'Our targets should be to match the achievements of United, Barcelona and Real Madrid in the future.
'I think that Manchester City are set up now to win many trophies. That has to be the target.
'Manchester City will be a top club for many years and I think the team that starts next season will be stronger than the one that finishes this season.
'One of the things that attracted me to City was the chance to change their history.'
Mancini is attempting to deliver City’s first league title since 1968, another year when they pipped United to the throne.
In front a worldwide TV audience expected to be in the region of 650million, Mancini will start with the Carlos Tevez-Sergio Aguero partnership up front and will leave Mario Balotelli on the bench or even in the stands.
Stormy: The game is likely to be a tempestuous affair
Trip: Manchester United players returning for their crunch clash after a relaxing weekend in Wales
United, meanwhile, are expected to have Jonny Evans missing after the Irishman missed most of last week’s training, which is likely to mean Chris Smalling lining up at centre-half and Phil Jones at right-back.
However, winger Nani, who was injured last Friday, trained before United took a bumpy flight back from their weekend base in Wales on Sunday.
Ferguson is also considering recalling Ji-Sung Park for his first league start since January as he looks to stifle City’s attacking threat.
Mancini received public backing from City owner Sheikh Mansour last week and his job looks safe regardless of the result.
Dominant: City thrashed United 6-1 at Old Trafford earlier this season
There is a remote chance that the Sheikh may make a surprise visit to his club on Monday. UEFA president Michel Platini will be present while legendary Argentina striker Maradona is expected to arrive from Dubai to watch son-in-law Aguero.
Mancini added: 'If we beat United to the title it would be the biggest achievement of my career because it is England, it is the best championship in Europe.
'And for an Italian manager to win the Premier League would make it better than anything else I have done in the game.
Preparing: Sir Alex Ferguson could deploy Danny Welbeck against United's rivals
'I think the Sheikh and the chairman Khaldoon are happy with what we have done this season. But I’m not important.
'If they want to change all the staff they can do that and put good people in their places.' Meanwhile, United midfielder Paul Scholes has given the clearest indication yet that he may extend his playing career in to next season.
Asked in an interview with his former United colleague Fabien Barthez about his brief foray in to coaching, he said: Scholes said: 'Probably I was not quite ready.
'I don’t know what the future holds but I’ll get another chance at coaching in a couple of years.'