Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell hopes Manchester United 'slip up' this weekend

City play Aston Villa on Monday

Manchester City know they can do little but watch and hope this weekend as they await opportunities to get back into the title race.

The champions could again find themselves 15 points behind leaders Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League by the time they face struggling Aston Villa in their next match on Monday.

That was the deficit they faced prior to playing Chelsea last Sunday after United's victory the previous day and their rivals can strike another blow as they host Norwich on Saturday.

With just 11 games remaining there is little time to turn the situation around but manager Roberto Mancini has suggested cutting the gap to six points before the April derby trip to Old Trafford could reignite the battle.

Yet although United were beaten by Norwich in November, they have not lost in the league since and Sir Alex Ferguson's men are in control of their destiny.

City midfielder Jack Rodwell said: "We hope they slip up.

"All we can do is win our games. If we don't win our games and United don't then we've only got ourselves to blame.

"We've just got to focus on our side."

Finishing second would be a clear disappointment for City after last season's dramatic title success but the club still remains in fine shape.

There is still the possibility of FA Cup glory and, if 2012 was removed from the equation, a runners-up spot would be a best final position since 1977.

Striker Sergio Aguero believes there is plenty to build on.

The Argentina international said: "With experience we'll be able to grow even more year by year and whatever happens this season, we will learn from it and use it to our advantage."

Mancini will give a fitness update on captain Vincent Kompany as he meets media to preview the trip to Villa Park.

The Belgium defender has been out longer than expected after suffering a calf injury in the FA Cup fourth-round win at Stoke five weeks ago.

It had been hoped he could return against Chelsea last weekend but Mancini revealed he had also injured his other calf. The 26-year-old has a history of calf trouble.

Mancini said: "It is not the same injury, it is a different calf.

"He has been unlucky and that means we are unlucky but we hope he will be back very quickly."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Voices
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
voices
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living