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Saturday March 29, 2014 MYT 12:48:56 AM
Saturday March 29, 2014 MYT 12:49:07 AM
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger instructs his team during their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea City at the Emirates stadium in London March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - As Premier League juggernauts Manchester City build up a head of steam in the title race, manager Manuel Pellegrini agrees with Arsene Wenger that Arsenal can still be crowned champions.
Third-placed City travel to the Emirates on Saturday having recorded four straight league wins including a 3-0 victory over bitter rivals Manchester United on Tuesday.
Pellegrini's men have 66 points from 29 games and boast a three-point and two-games-in-hand advantage over Arsenal but the Chilean is desperate to make the gap wider still.
"It's a big game because it's against a team that is fighting for the title," he told a news conference on Friday.
"They are playing at home and have very good players and I am sure we will need to play a very good game if we want to win.
"If we win on Saturday we can be 12 points on top of Arsenal if we win the two games we have in hand. It's a match of 'six points' but not the match that will decide the title."
Arsenal have floundered in recent weeks, collecting only eight points from six league games, although Wenger remains confident his side will finish the season with a flourish.
"There is no other priority other than coming first," the Frenchman said.
"Champions keep going when everybody else would give up. We have an opportunity to show that we have that mentality."
City, who have only won once at the Emirates in the Premier League era, will be without injured duo Sergio Aguero and Matija Nastasic but midfielder David Silva is fit.
"The team is exactly the same as last week," said Pellegrini who recorded a 6-3 win over Arsenal in December.
"Aguero and Nastasic are out. Silva is ok, he is in the squad list. Aguero needs one more week, we will see next week how he improves from his injury."
Pellegrini, who joined City from Malaga in June, is experiencing a Premier League challenge for the first time and said the championship heat was also on leaders Chelsea and second-placed Liverpool.
"For all the big teams there is always pressure to win titles," he added. "I think the four teams have the same chance to win.
"Maybe they (Chelsea) are at the top of the table because they did not play as much in the other cups. Arsenal didn't have the results they needed to in the last two matches but all the teams will drop points between now and the end of the season."
(Reporting by Michael Hann; editing by Tony Jimenez)
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