How important is the Arsenal game? Manuel Pellegrini explains...

Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini plays down the significance of his side’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.

The big game in the Premier League this weekend is at the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal host Manchester City.

The Gunners will head into Saturday’s fixture placed fourth in the table with 63 points from 31 matches and will be aiming to return to winning ways following a defeat at Chelsea and a draw with Swansea City.

City are three points better off Arsene Wenger’s side in third with two games in hand and are considered by many to the favourites for the title.

However, manager Manuel Pellegrini does not see it that way. The Chilean admits that winning against Arsenal in London will be crucial for his side, but he plays down suggestions that dropping points against their rivals will knock them out of the race.

"It is not the last match and not the match that will decide the title,” the 60-year-old told reporters.

"Of course it is a big game - it is against a team that is also fighting for the title - but it is a matter of six points, which would be a very important difference.

“If we win on Saturday and win our two games in hand, then we can be 12 points on top of Arsenal - that is also a very important difference. A win would be a huge step to continue the way we have been going so far."

Pellegrini’s comments on Friday are in sharp contrast to what midfielder David Silva had to say.

The Spain international believes that picking up three points at the Emirates on Saturday will make the Citizens “favourites” for the championship.

"I think another win would make us favourites," the 28-year-old told The Sun. "There will still be a long way to go but we'll be in a great position going into the final few weeks.

"If we win them all, there is nothing anyone can do to stop us. We are very confident."

One can understand where Silva is getting all this confidence from. The only two tough matches that City have after Saturday are against Liverpool at Anfield on April 13 and against Everton at Goodison Park on May 3.

However, Pellegrini is right to keep his feet on the ground, as there is no guarantee that City will win their two games in hand. Moreover, Chelsea and Liverpool are showing no signs of slowing down.

The Premier League title race will go down to the wire.

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