MANCHESTER, England - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said he already understands why his first derby against Manchester United today 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 on Friday he was already aware of how important the derby game is before he arrived in England.
"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.
Pellegrini believes United counterpart David Moyes will be under extreme pressure to win the game 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.
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.