Michael Carrick insists United's players must not be sucked into the whirlwind of hype whipped up by the looming Manchester derby.
The fixture has steadily become the most anticipated in the Barclays Premier League as City have grown in stature over recent seasons, and the scene is set for another high-stakes encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Champions City currently trail league leaders United by three points, but Carrick will not read too much into the ramifications of leadership at this early juncture of the season and says the Reds must ignore any distractions surrounding the game.
Speaking to MUTV last Saturday, the midfielder mused: "We want to be top of the league, but at this stage does it mean a lot? I'm not too sure how much it really means.
"It's a one-off game regardless of who's top of the league. It's nice because we want to be top and we go there in good shape, so we go there full of confidence and looking forward to the game.
"It's a big game, of course it is and we know that, but it's important not to get too carried away with it as players because we want to go there and put in a good performance, get a good result and keep our position in the league."