Samir Nasri anticipates January Chelsea clash will be 'like a final'

The former Arsenal midfielder is hoping he can help Man City close the gap on Chelsea a little more before they meet again in the Premier League.

Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri has said the clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in January in the Premier League will be like a final.

City closed their gap on the league leaders to six points with a 3-0 win over Southampton on Sunday as they look to claim their third title in four years.

City intend to keep the pressure on Jose Mourinho's side between now and the New Year before their visit to Chelsea and seem to have gained some momentum with wins over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and the win over the Saints.

Nasri told the Manchester City website: “By New Year's Day we want to be closer to Chelsea- the game at Stamford Bridge in January will be like a final. But teams like Southampton are still there, United are coming back so it will be open for a while yet."

It will be a very early final, though as there will still be over four months worth of games for the two sides to play between then and the end of the season. It's conceivable that City could lose that game and still go on to win the title should they make sufficient progress over the second half of the season.

Manuel Pellegrini's men have proved they can go on long winning runs against difficult opposition like they did during the midway point of last season. It was Chelsea that ended their run then, but it still provided a springboard for City to go on and win the Premier League title.

Jose Mourinho has got his Chelsea side performing like a side who believe they can become champions this season, which helped by sensible transfer business in the summer.

The game at Stamford Bridge on January 31 could prove to be a big factor in the title race, but talk of it being like a final is a little premature. There are several big games to come before they meet, but if City keep the pressure on, it could be some game. 

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