MANCHESTER, April 16- Manchester United head into a hugely-anticipated derby away to Manchester City at Eastlands on Saturday hoping to maintain their Premier League title chances and deal a blow to their rivals' Champions League hopes.
English champions United are four points behind leaders Chelsea with four games remaining, while fourth-placed City are a point above Tottenham, who still have to travel to Eastlands in what promises to be a close-run race for the final Champions League place on offer to English clubs.
City were beaten 4-3 by United at Old Trafford in the previous Premier League fixture between the Manchester clubs while United also defeated their local rivals in a titanic League Cup semi-final at the start of the year.
United are hoping England striker Wayne Rooney can recover from his latest ankle problem in order to feature at Eastlands.
With former United player Carlos Tevez in free-scoring form for City and both sides needing victory for different reasons, there is more riding on the game than many a Manchester derby.
United were on course for a double a fortnight ago but were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich, lost to Chelsea and drew at Blackburn in the league.
But Old Trafford veteran Ryan Giggs insists that there is still plenty for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, who have already won the League Cup this season, to play for this weekend.
"We’ve just got to keep going," said the Welsh winger. "It’s been a bad 10 days or so for us.
"Results haven’t gone our way and neither has the luck, and you need both of those things to go in your favour at this time of the season.
"We’ve just got to bounce back from the disappointment of the last couple of weeks and we’re definitely not going to give up. We’re going to keep fighting until the end.
"There are still a few games left and hopefully Chelsea will slip up so we can capitalise."
Wes Brown, Anderson and Michael Owen are all still injured for United and Owen Hargreaves is unlikely to feature this season despite recovering from a knee injury.
Roberto Mancini’s team have their own injury concerns with Joleon Lescott still struggling with a hamstring problem, Wayne Bridge out with a groin strain and Stephen Ireland and Martin Petrov both doubtful.
City’s Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz thinks matches between the Manchester rivals could become increasingly important as the years go by and could even rival Milan derbies in the future.
"It will get to the same level as we are getting better and the team is going to build up a history in terms of being as good as United have been in the past.
"And the better we do, the more interesting the derby becomes.
"They have that in places like Milan, where they have two top teams in one city, and it is going to be like that in Manchester in the future."