Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson believes that winning the Premier League this season would be "extra special" for Sir Alex Ferguson, given that their main title challengers are Manchester City.
The local rivals are set to go face-to-face on April 30 at the Etihad Stadium with victors moving into pole position for the final two games.
And the former United captain has lauded his old boss for adapting to the arrival of the new, wealthy challengers.
"There has always been great rivalry between the two clubs but for the first time in many years, City are up there challenging for the title," Robson told the Press Association.
"That is why for Sir Alex, with it being Manchester City, it will be extra-special for him, because of the resources City have got.
It will be a great achievement if United win the title this season."
However, Robson expects Sir Alex to strengthen his squad in the summer regardless of how the season finishes.
"City can afford to do that [bring in top players] but the one thing Sir Alex will do, whether he wins the title or not, is to build in the summer," he continued.
"He will do that to try and compete and get back above, or to stay in front of Man City, depending on what happens during the next three games."
One advantage that the champions may have over City is their greater experience of grinding out results when the pressure is on.
A run of two wins from five during March seemingly ended Robert Mancini’s men’s charge towards the championship, but, with the pressure momentarily off, they hit 12 goals in their last three games to put them right back in the mix.
And Robson is unsure as what frame of mind City will be in during next Monday derby with expectation from the fans now alive again.
He said: "It will be a new experience for City and depends on how they adapt to it.
"It might be them saying 'let's get out there, enjoy this and, if we do it, we do it, and if we don't no one is really going to criticise us because United have been there, seen it and done it'.
“The players could get that response or do they go the other way and get nervous because they know how much is on this game?"
Speaking about another of his former clubs, Robson urged West Brom to do their utmost to keep manager Roy Hodgson from taking the vacant England position
"I think Albion would want to keep Roy. You need a consistent basis at the club and Roy has established that basis since he has gone in," he added.
"Roy is an experienced manager, has the experience of being an international manager with Switzerland which holds you in good stead.
"I could see why Roy wouldn't turn it down if he was offered the job."