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ManU scent Man City blood

ManU scent Man City blood
Having blown a two-goal lead to draw at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, City fell six points behind league leaders Chelsea after losing at West Ham United and were then knocked out of the League Cup by Newcastle United.

Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at home to Newcastle came despite City manager Manuel Pellegrini fielding a strong team, and goalkeeper Joe Hart has called on his team-mates to raise their game against United on Sunday.

‘Not everyone’s exactly at their peak at the moment, but we just need a few players, myself included, to step up. It will come back. It’s just one of those difficult patches that we’ve gone through many a time. Last season, we had less points and were in a worse position (at this stage of the season), and we won the league. We’ve got to look to things like that, but the main thing is to get it right on Sunday,’ the England goalkeeper, who was rested against Newcastle, told Sky Sports News.

David Silva is a doubt for City after going off against Newcastle with a knee injury, but Yaya Toure is expected to feature despite being substituted in the second half as a precaution over a groin complaint.Wayne Rooney, the leading scorer in Manchester derbies with 11 goals, has completed a three-match suspension and is set to return to the United attack despite reports he has sustained a foot injury. A 94th-minute equaliser by Robin van Persie earned Louis van Gaal’s United a morale-boosting 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea last weekend.

United lost 4-1 and 3-0 to City last season, but victory at the Etihad would take them to within a point of the champions. After edging fourth-tier Shrewsbury Town 2-1 in the League Cup in mid-week, Chelsea will look to return to winning ways in the league when they host west London rivals Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Chelsea have taken 23 points from a possible 27 to date this season, but with QPR having recorded a timely 2-0 win at home to Aston Villa on Monday, Chelsea cannot afford to be complacent.

Second-place Southampton, four points below Chelsea, visit Hull City on Saturday, having won 3-2 at Stoke City in the League Cup on Wednesday. Southampton have belied expectations after losing a glut of key players during the close season. Fourth-place West Ham could be without leading scorer Diafra Sakho for their trip to Stoke on Saturday, after he injured his shoulder in last weekend’s 2-1 win over City. Saturday’s early game sees Newcastle host Liverpool, who remain without the injured Daniel Sturridge.

Arsenal can still win League title: Wenger

Arsenal are still in contention for the Premier League title and it is too soon to say that leaders Chelsea can go through the season undefeated, manager Arsene Wenger told a news conference on Friday.

Wenger’s so-called ‘Invincibles’ team achieved that feat over 38 league games in 2003-04, but he said that Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, with seven wins and two draws from the opening nine games, still have much to do. ‘Chelsea are in a strong position but it would not be realistic to judge them now. There are how many games played? There’s a long way to go. It’s too early,’ he said.

Arsenal lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge earlier this month and have won only three of their nine games, leaving them nine points behind the leaders. ‘I do not write ourselves off. I have a strong belief we will come back and we can just prove that on the pitch,’ he added.
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