Manchester City vs Manchester United preview: Paul Pogba out of derby
The stakes are high in the third Manchester derby of the season, with Champions League qualification points on the line as Man City host Man Utd, live on Sky Sports.
City, fourth in the Premier League, are just a point ahead of their rivals, who have not lost in the competition since October.
Guardiola said: "They are good, good rivals, good quality, in good form. They've had big series without defeat in the Premier League. They have a lot of quality, history. We're looking forward to the game."
A win on Thursday would lift United above City and into the top four, but Jose Mourinho said stealing a march on their neighbours would only be relevant if it meant they secured Champions League football - which they can still achieve by winning the Europa League.
"It means nothing. If we finish fifth and they finish sixth and we are above them it means nothing," he added.
"If they finish third and we finish fourth they are above us, but it means a lot.
"This is not about Pep (Guardiola), this is not about City, it is about fighting for objectives. We want to play Champions League football and we still have two doors open."
Paul Pogba will miss the derby after sustaining a muscular injury in Sunday's win at Burnley.
Chris Smalling (knee) and Phil Jones (foot) are still not fit while Juan Mata (groin), Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo (both knee) have longer-term problems.
Full-back Antonio Valencia returns after missing the last two matches.
City playmaker David Silva is doubtful after suffering a hamstring injury in the FA Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal.