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Pellegrini says title won't be a two-horse race


Sergio Aguero Photo:wcdirect

Sergio Aguero Photo:wcdirect

Sergio Aguero Photo:wcdirect

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini denies the winners of his side's heavyweight clash with Arsenal should be regarded as title favourites.

City, the team currently most fancied for the Barclays Premier League title, take on the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

Both sides have played some outstanding football this season but neither have been able to find the consistency needed to take charge of the race.

As a result, they only find themselves among a cluster of tightly-packed clubs at the top end of the table, with Leicester and Manchester United also battling for top spot.

Pellegrini said: "You have to play so many games (to play) that it is impossible to think just two teams can be involved in the title.

"I think that Leicester finished the last round still at the top of the table, Manchester United are just a few points behind us. Tottenham can be involved, and Liverpool and Crystal Palace can be involved."

City's form since the beginning the campaign with five impressive, clean-sheets wins has been patchy with convincing victories over the likes of Newcastle and Bournemouth tempered by comprehensive losses to Tottenham, Liverpool and Stoke.

They also made hard work of Norwich, were held to a frustrating stalemate at struggling Aston Villa and needed a late deflected winner against Swansea last week.

Injuries to captain Vincent Kompany and striker Sergio Aguero have exposed weaknesses at either end of the field but Pellegrini is aware of where work needs to be done.

The Chilean said: "I am always concerned how we can improve our team. When we score goals, we try to concede less. When we don't score so many, we try to score more.

"From the start of the season until now, I have thought we must improve a lot of things. But I also think we have made a lot of good things - that is why we are the team who are involved in all of the competitions.

"In two or three games I was not happy about the way we defended, but in a lot of games we did very well.

"I am not happy with the two or three games when we didn't score goals but normally we continue being the most scoring team.

"I think it is a good moment but we must improve if we want to continue being involved in the competitions and win silverware this season."

City hope to have Aguero back after four games out with a heel problem but Kompany is still sidelined by the calf injury that has kept him out for the past month.