“It’s a huge game, an important game for us and our supporters,” said Mauricio as we prepare for our latest clash against the Gunners on Saturday.
We’re two points adrift of our rivals going into the 12.45pm kick-off at the Lane.
We’ve lost just one of our last nine in the Premier League while Arsenal have won five of their last six.
“We arrive at the game in a good moment,” added Mauricio. “We are only two points behind Arsenal and this is a real derby, a special game. We’re ready, concentrated and focused for Saturday.
“Arsenal are a very good team, we recognise that. We go into Saturday with full respect but we will try to get the victory.”
Mauricio played in huge derbies in his career - Newell’s Old Boys against Rosario Central back in Argentina, Espanyol against Barcelona, PSG against Marseille and on the international scene, Argentina against Brazil.
“Newell's Old Boys against Rosario Central was always a very tough game, very difficult, but I enjoy this type of game,” he added. “We need our players to feel the same, to enjoy and try to get the victory.
“Football is emotion and this type of game you need to play always with your head and your brain but also with your heart. It’s emotional, a special game for our supporters.”