Liverpool remain Manchester United's 'biggest rival' says Ryan Giggs

Welsh winger plays down rivalry with Manchester City ahead of derby

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The Independent Football

With a much hyped Manchester derby looming, Ryan Giggs has played down the fixture, saying the rivalry with Liverpool remains stronger.

The meeting at the Etihad on Sunday is already being talked of as significant in terms of where the Premier League title will end up at the end of the season. The pair have pulled away from rivals Chelsea, with United enjoying a 10 point cushion and City seven.

Few would argue that the season looks a two horse race yet despite a local rivalry also becoming one of importance in terms of silverware, Giggs refuses to elevate it above any other.

"It doesn't mean anything extra because it is City," said Giggs.

"There are different rivalries.

"Liverpool has always been the biggest rival for me. It has always been the biggest test.

"Arsenal were a brilliant team and we had some ferocious battles with them. Chelsea were also a brilliant team under (Jose) Mourinho and now City are a good team as well.

"The added dynamic is that they are on our doorstep. But we still want to win the league no matter who we are competing against."

However, Giggs does concede that the games between the pair could have a bearing on who wins the title - especially considering United missed out on the title on goal difference last term in a season in which they were beaten by City with an aggregate score of 7-1.

"We have found over the last couple of years that the derby, with the money City have spent and the quality they have brought in, has got bigger and bigger," said Giggs.

"The two games against them were the difference last season. Hopefully we can get the right result and that will be the difference come the end of this season."

Despite being top of the league, much of the pre-match talk has focused on United's frailties, particularly their leaky defence. Similarly, Manchester City have not been at the heights they achieved last season. Consistent results domestically have run parallel to a dreadful Champions League campaign for Roberto Mancini's side.

"We are both in a similar situation," said Giggs.

"We are in a good position in the league but haven't hit the form we did in parts last season.

"That can be frustrating because we want perfection.

"We want to be the best team and each individual wants to be the best player.

"We must be doing something right because we are in a good position and there is the belief we can score goals.

"But that doesn't mean we should neglect our defending and not try and stop the goals we are leaking because we need to stop conceding them."