Supporters play a big part and the psychology of it is also important. Many of the supporters know they've been down this road before. I guess we talk about the players and management going the course and distance but it's the supporters as well and City's fans have got to try and match that. One of their challenges is to keep the belief and help the team as well.
So it's a big night on Monday and, as Gary Neville heads south to analyse the match in the Sky Sports studio in London, I'll be heading in the opposite direction, going north to Ewood Park.
As for City's match with Sunderland on Saturday, you'd expect them to win on paper but games are played on the pitch and, after Wigan's win at Liverpool and Blackburn beating United earlier this season, nothing can be taken for granted. I'm a great believer in what happens on the day... all these issues about certain teams never winning at certain grounds and this that and the other: that's just a consequence of adding up what's happened in the past. What's important is the present.
Those historical factors don't play any part in the match itself and, playing against a team managed by Martin O'Neill, City know they will be in for a tough game. There are no gimmes, nothing is straightforward, the points have to be properly earned every time. That applies to both teams in every game.
From a neutral's view, I'm hoping the title race goes beyond the derby and right to the end. There's nothing more exciting than a final-day climax. I've been there on the last day with United before and it's terrific and shows what a great title race it has been if it's not sorted out until the 38th game.
Everyone is looking at the 36th game - the Manchester derby - and that's obviously going to be special. But I'm old enough to remember City winning the title in 1968 when it went to the last day, so why not this time?