Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has said he will wave a Manchester United flag against Real Madrid. The reason behind his decision is simple - he wants United to have a more congested fixture list which will ultimately help Manchester City in challenging United for the Premier League title.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side face Jose Mourinho's defending Liga champions in the last 16 of the Champions League, and if they would go through against Los Blancos it would mean they would stay on course of another history treble as they are still alive in all competition.
"[Beating Real] would be another two games for them. I will go there and support them with a red-and-white flag," Mancini told reporters.
"But playing Real is tough - they are one of the best in the world," he added. "Them and Barca. They have incredible players, fantastic history. It will be very hard for United to beat them because they are a really top club.”
City still need to beat Liverpool on Sunday in order to be seven points behind United in the title race. Mancini has said he will use last year as motivation this time around, when City were eight points behind United at one point but managed to finish first on goal difference.
"If we could do it last year when we were eight points behind with six games to go, it's not impossible that we can recover this with 14 games left.
"We could recover five or six points and still lose at the end but we'll do everything to win this championship. United have good experience but anything can happen right up until the last game.
"And we have a good memory of what happened last year. When you are seven points behind, it's difficult to recover but we're a good team and playing well. We've also started to work better with the defenders."
Mancini feels City are lacking goals this season, a problem which may be exacerbated by the sale of Mario Balotelli to Milan in the January transfer window.
"I don't know why they are not scoring as many. We're also missing Mario's goals. Last season, he scored 13 in the league and this season, he only got one."
"It's clear that we're missing seven, eight, nine goals and if we had got these, we probably would have four or five points more.
"We are disappointed because we lost two points against QPR but there are some games when you can attack for 100 minutes and you don't score."
City face Liverpool on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium in what could prove to be the biggest game of the season for them.