Manchester, United Kingdom: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said he already understands why his first derby against Manchester United on Sunday will be such a special match despite this being his debut season in the Premier League
Pellegrini left Spanish club Malaga in June to replace Italian Roberto Mancini, who was sacked after United took the Premier League title from City.
However, the 60-year-old Chilean insisted Friday he was already aware of how important the derby game is before he arrived in England.
"I don't need to be here to know how important the derby against Manchester United is," Pellegrini said.
"But working here and living here every day, of course, I know it is a special game. It is a match of six points. It is very important to win, and one of the most important teams you face," he added ahead of this weekend's clash at City's Eastlands ground.
"Manchester United will always be one of the teams always trying to win the league so playing at home against them is very important.
"It is more important to win. Of course if you can't win it's better not to lose but we will try to win.
"Every match against Manchester United is a special match. It's very important."
Pellegrini believes Manchester United counterpart David Moyes will be under extreme pressure to win the game against City even if he was not following legendary United manager Alex Ferguson in the job.
Ferguson retired at the end of last season after winning a remarkable 38 trophies in his 26-year reign at Old Trafford.
"It is impossible not to be under a lot of pressure," Pellegrini said. "Not just replacing Alex Ferguson but managing Manchester United or a big team you are always under big pressure.
"That is a good way to work because you know what you have to do.
"It is a very good team and David Moyes is a very good manager. We will face a very difficult team."
Moyes boasted an impressive record against City while he was in charge of Everton, although his only previous competitive meeting against Pellegrini was a Champions League play-off match when the Chilean was manager of Villarreal in 2005.
Pellegrini said: "I know David had good results against Manchester City when he managed Everton. I also had a very good record against Everton when he was the manager!
"It was a very special game because both teams, I think it was the first time Everton played in the Champions League.
"For Villarreal it was the first time, it was a very difficult game at Goodison Park and we finished by beating Everton at home to get through. It was a very special match for Villarreal and for me also."
City captain Vincent Kompany has shown no ill-effects following his return from a recent groin injury having come through the Champions League victory over Viktoria Pilsen.
And Pellegrini agreed the return of the Belgium international will be a major asset to his side even though he believes the defence have coped well in his absence.
"I think Vincent is a very important player for us," Pellegrini added. "He worked normally the whole week and played 90 minutes in the Champions League. He trained normally the whole week. He has no problem.
"We also work well with defending without him if you see our statistics in games he didn't play, we had clean sheets. But Vincent is important and gives us confidence."
Meanwhile midfield playmaker David Silva and defender Micah Richards have returned to full training following their recovery from thigh and hamstring injuries respectively.