Ander Herrera reckons Manchester United have the edge over rivals City and is confident his team-mates can secure Champions League qualification.
The Red Devils failed to qualify for European football's top competition for the first time since 1995 two years ago and that failure cost David Moyes his job.
His successor Louis van Gaal looked to be struggling on a similar path only for back-to-back victories either side of the international break - a 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium and another 1-0 success against Everton on Sunday - to put them within a point of fourth-placed Manchester City.
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"Man United should be every year in the Champions League," said Herrera. "I think the last 25 or 26 years, just one time we didn't play Champions League, so we want to be there.
"We are Man United, we as players are obligated to fight until the end and I think we have the quality to be there.
"Man City has a bigger squad, very good players, but I think right now we can fight against them.
"We have recovered some important players for us. They are going to help us and there is a lot of experience, like Antonio [Valencia] and Ash [Young]. I am optimistic.
"I think the last game we showed that we are a little bit better than them right now, in this moment. We beat them away in the Manchester derby so we can be optimistic."
United's next fixture is a tough trip to second-placed Tottenham but Sunday's match at White Hart Lane holds little trepidation for the Spaniard.
"When we play against top teams, I am not so worried about our performance because I think we usually do quite well against top teams," Herrera said.