Manuel Pellegrini out to kill off Arsenal’s title hopes
Manchester City manager believes experience can be key to his side’s success
Manuel Pellegrini believes Manchester City can all but kill off Arsenal’s title hopes if they beat Arsene Wenger’s side at the Emirates in today’s late kick-off.
City are three points behind the leaders, Chelsea, who are six better off than Wenger’s team, with Pellegrini conscious that his side could go 12 ahead of Arsenal if their two games in hand are won.
“I think that if we win on Saturday we can be 12 points on top of Arsenal if we win the two games that here we have in hand,” he said. “It is an important difference. Six points is also an important difference.
“It is a match of six points but it is not the last match and not the match that will decide the title. It is a huge step to continue in the way we are doing so far. Yes, of course it is a big game because it is against a team that is fighting for the title also.”
The manager, though, admits that Arsenal would still have a notional chance of claiming the title. “It will be very difficult for them,” he said. “It’s difficult for them because they have three teams in front of them. But in football the mathematics always have a chance of happening. There can be an option.”
Pellegrini’s squad contains many who won the title two seasons ago, including David Silva, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Joe Hart, Edin Dzeko and Pablo Zabaleta. He believes this can be of help in the final stage of this season’s challenge.
“It’s important to have the experience to win titles. A lot of things can help but the most important thing is the performance of the players in the last few games,” the 60-year-old said.
“This is a different moment, there are different players. The most important thing is the present, the next game. To play in the same way we did [against Manchester United] in the next game.”
Silva is also in the squad for the trip to north London despite a scare over an ankle problem. “Yes he worked today [Friday] with the squad. There is no problem,” Pellegrini said.