Manchester City eye twin-targets before facing Arsenal
Win over Arsenal today will also put pressure on table-toppers Chelsea, says Man City's Fernandinho
London: Manchester City’s visit to Premier League championship outsiders Arsenal is key to their hopes of lifting the title, according to midfielder Fernandinho.
Manchester City’s Fernandinho (centre) celebrates a goal with Stevan Jovetic (left) during the match against Fulham last Saturday. Pic/AFP.
City narrowed the gap on leaders Chelsea to three points thanks to their resounding 3-0 win at faltering champions Manchester United on Tuesday.
Manuel Pelligrini’s City side still have two games in hand on Chelsea and Fernandinho knows they can’t afford to slip off the pace by allowing Arsenal to revive their own fading aspirations with a win at the Emirates Stadium today. “This is going to be the key game for us,” said the Brazilian. “We want to win this game to put some pressure on Chelsea and we’ll see what happens after that. It will be difficult for us. They are playing at home with their fans, so we need to be ready.”
While Arsenal have been stuttering, City have been regaining momentum in their pursuit of Jose Mourinho’s side and totally outplayed derby rivals United to record a fourth straight league win since they knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup.
Improved away form
Their fifth successive clean sheet set a Premier League club record, while City are also now unbeaten in nine away games. That compares to their dismal run at the start of the season when they won just one of their opening six away matches.
Fernandinho recognises that streak must continue if City are to reclaim the title they won two years ago.
City’s top scorer Sergio Aguero, meanwhile, will miss out for a fourth game due to the hamstring problem he sustained against Barcelona on March 12.
. Crystal Palace vs Chelsea on Star Sports 4 & HD 2, 20:20
. Arsenal vs Manchester City on Star Sports 4 & HD 2, 22:45
London: Having decided to contest a Football Association charge of improper conduct, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho turns his attention back to preserving his side’s lead in the Premier League this weekend.
Chelsea’s emphatic 6-0 victory over Arsenal last weekend strengthened the Blues’ credentials to be champions, as well as dealing a severe blow to Arsene Wenger’s side’s hopes. But that memorable victory will count for little if Mourinho’s team fail to follow up the win with three more points at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace on Saturday.