Manuel Pellegrini: Man City’s clash at Chelsea won’t decide title

Manuel Pellegrini discusses the significance of the top-of-the-table clash at Stamford Bridge

Manuel Pellegrini has played down the significance of Manchester City’s clash against Chelsea in the context of the Premier League title race.

The Citizens can move to within two points of Jose Mourinho’s side if the defending Premier League champions win at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s late kick-off.

But Pellegrini pointed to City’s Premier League title triumph in 2012 as proof that his squad can come from eight points behind Chelsea to win the league title if they lose at the weekend.

“I think it’s a very important game, but not the game to decide the title because after that we have 45 points more,” Pellegrini told his pre-match media conference ahead of City’s trip to the league leaders on Saturday.

“If you remember this group won the title after being eight points behind Manchester United. In football you never know but it’s an important game to close that gap as soon as we can.”

City are unbeaten in seven of their last nine games against the west London side in all competitions, although Chelsea beat Pellegrini’s men twice last season.

Chelsea boss Mourinho will be without Diego Costa following the striker’s three-game ban from the FA after he was found guilty of stamping on Liverpool defender Emre Can in the League Cup on Tuesday.

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