Pellegrini: We're not favourites

  • Last Updated: March 24 2014, 15:24 GMT

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has denied his side will start as favourites when they head to Old Trafford on Tuesday night looking to heap more misery on Manchester United manager David Moyes.

Manuel Pellegrini: Playing down his side's chances at Old Trafford
Manuel Pellegrini: Playing down his side's chances at Old Trafford

Pellegrini's men might be forgiven for swaggering across town with a mighty 12-point advantage over their rivals, and knowing another win will take them a big step closer to reclaiming their Barclays Premier League title.

But Pellegrini, whose first taste of the Manchester derby brought a thumping 4-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in September, has moved to play down the suggestion that the balance of power is in the process of inexorably shifting to the light-blue half of the city.

Pellegrini said: "I don't think we are favourites in any game. We are in a good moment but we are playing against a big team in their own stadium, so I don't think we are the favourites.

"Of course we always expect to go and win every game but, I repeat, just because Manchester United have had a difficult season it does not mean we are going to win. We have to go there and play a very good game."

City's 5-0 stroll against Fulham on Saturday sent them back into third place, six points behind leaders Chelsea but with three games in hand.

And to add to Pellegrini's options he will have captain Vincent Kompany back to bolster his defence at Old Trafford after the Belgian sat out the win over the Cottagers as he served a one-match suspension for his sending-off at Hull.

Position Player Score
1 Chelsea 69
2 Liverpool 65
3 Man City 63
4 Arsenal 62

Pellegrini is clearly anxious to avoid suggestion of the mind games which so frequently marked the build-up to this fixture when Sir Alex Ferguson was seeking to resist the rise of the so-called "noisy neighbours" in years gone by.

Referring to his side's win in September, Pellegrini said: "Of course it is a special match for the fans because they love winning against Manchester United, but for me all the games are special because you have to get three points.

"It is not my duty to analyse what David Moyes has done at Manchester United. I think everyone knows it was always going to be difficult for him to replace Sir Alex Ferguson, but I don't analyse what he's done."

While Moyes' men will go into the derby in good spirits on the back of successive wins over Olympiacos and West Ham, Pellegrini also believes his side's torrid week against Wigan and Barcelona earlier this month could stand his own side in good stead.

Team Versus Team
Man Utd v Man City
Arsenal v Swansea
Newcastle v Everton

"All of us want to stay in every competition but when you are eliminated one of the positive things - if you can find a positive thing - is that we are now just focusing on the Premier League," added Pellegrini.

"You don't have problems in that sense, mentally or physically. We are just trying to fight for the title. I know we must go game by game and we just have to win on Tuesday and then at Arsenal on Saturday after that."

TITLE RUN-IN FIXTURES

CHELSEA (Pld 31 Pts 69 GD +39)

Mar 29 - Crystal Palace A
Apr 5 - Stoke H
Apr 13 - Swansea A
Apr 20 - Sunderland H
Apr 27 - Liverpool A
May 3 - Norwich H
May 11 - Cardiff A

LIVERPOOL (Pld 30 Pts 65 GD +44)

Mar 26 - Sunderland H
Mar 30 - Tottenham H
Apr 6 - West Ham A
Apr 13 - Manchester City H
Apr 20 - Norwich A
Apr 27 - Chelsea H
May 3 - Crystal Palace A
May 11 - Newcastle H

MANCHESTER CITY (Pld 28 Pts 63 GD +49)

Mar 25 - Manchester United A
Mar 29 - Arsenal A
Apr 5 - Southampton H
Apr 13 - Liverpool A
Apr 16 - Sunderland H
Apr 21 - West Brom H
Apr 27 - Crystal Palace A
May 3 - Everton A
May 7 - Aston Villa H
May 11 - West Ham H

ARSENAL (Pld 30 Pts 62 GD +19)

Mar 25 - Swansea H
Mar 29 - Manchester City H
Apr 6 - Everton A
Apr 15 - West Ham H
Apr 19 - Hull A
Apr 28 - Newcastle H
May 3 - West Brom H
May 11 - Norwich A

  • Chelsea are still in the Champions League, while Arsenal are still in the FA Cup.


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