City will win title - Mancini

PA Sport
Roberto Mancini

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Roberto Mancini

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is convinced his side will win the Barclays Premier League title this season.

City have slipped four points behind rivals Manchester United at the top but play their game in hand against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. In a match in which controversial striker Carlos Tevez is poised to return, Mancini expects City to cut the gap and put the pressure back on United.

And then with another nine games to play, including a home clash with United on April 30, the Italian is confident his men will prevail, and he said: "We will win the title, we will win. We will do everything to win the title. We need to think positive always."

He continued: "Until now we have had a fantastic Premier League, we need to continue like this. We play one game a week, we can have more concentration about this."

Tevez could be named on the bench just over five weeks after he returned to training following his unauthorised three-month absence in Argentina. The 28-year-old has not played for the first team since last September but is now close to match fitness after ending his dispute with the club.

Mancini said: "He is getting better but I don't think Carlo can have more than 25-30 minutes. A player like Carlo needs to play but for 90 minutes it is impossible. But if he can play 30 minutes, after 45, then in three or four games he could have 90 minutes, easily."

City still have defensive problems ahead of the game with first-choice centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott struggling with calf and groin problems respectively. With Lescott already ruled out with his groin injury and Kompany struggling to overcome his calf strain in time, Stefan Savic and Kolo Toure could continue at the back.

They might have to deal with a fired-up Fernando Torres, who finally ended a long barren run with a double in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Leicester on Sunday, and Mancini added: "I am happy for Torres, I like him as a guy and a player. He scored again because he deserved this. But we know we play not against Fernando, but against Chelsea."

Chelsea appear to have put aside some of the problems which led to the recent departure of manager Andre Villas-Boas with a four-match winning run under Roberto di Matteo.

Mancini said: "I am happy to meet Di Matteo, he is a good manager, he did very well at West Brom. Now he is continuing to do very well with Chelsea, but I hope we can win. Chelsea are a good team but they were before with Villas-Boas."

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