Manchester City v Aston Villa: 'I always said that this team wants to win the title,' claims City manager Manuel Pellegrini

City will be without the Argentinian striker Aguero

Manchester City will aim to take a giant stride towards regaining the Premier League trophy as they host Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Manuel Pellegrini's men can move two points clear at the top of the table, with just one game to play, with victory at the Etihad Stadium.

City became overwhelming favourites as current leaders Liverpool surrendered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 at Crystal Palace on Monday.

The picture has changed considerably since City were held at home by Sunderland three weeks ago - a draw which left them six points behind the Reds with just one game in hand - and Pellegrini is confident the 2012 champions can handle any nerves.

The Chilean said: "We have experienced players, they've been in a similar situation two years ago.

"We have the pressure to win, but we've had it the whole year.

"From the beginning of the season I always said that this team wants to win the title. Now we will try to do it."

City will be without top scorer Sergio Aguero, who limped out of last weekend's win at Everton with a groin injury.

Aguero has been hampered by muscle problems in the second half of the season, missing 18 of the last 31 games, but has not yet been ruled out of the final game against West Ham.

Pellegrini said: "It was not 100 per cent sure if he was completely fit, that is why I didn't want to have a risk with him, but we will see during the week if he can play on Sunday."

Such has been Pellegrini's focus on the visit of Villa that he claims not to have watched Liverpool's dramatic late capitulation earlier in the week.

The Merseysiders had looked like moving three points clear at the top, and putting City under greater pressure, when they conceded three times in the final 11 minutes at Selhurst Park.

He said: "The Aston Villa game doesn't depend on the result of Liverpool.

"I was watching a tape and working. I knew the result once the game was finished. Other people told me at the end.

"The only way to continue in our position is to win the three points (against Villa). All the other things we can analyse when the race is over."

Pellegrini has only occasionally let emotions get the better of him during his first year in English football and he is confident in his approach.

He said: "If I try to be calm it's because I think it's the best way for the players to play these two games."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'