The champions ended January trailing their neighbours by seven points at the top of the table and meet Liverpool on Sunday. But in a month when United resume their Champions League challenge with a much-anticipated clash against Real Madrid, Mancini feels it could be time to strike.
United are at the Bernabeu on February 13, three days after a testing visit from Everton, and then host the Spanish giants on March 5. Mancini said: "They are two important games for United so I think that February and March could be the time when it's possible to decide this championship."
City dropped two points as they were held to a goalless draw at QPR in midweek but Mancini does not see any reason to worry. He said: "This doesn't change (anything).
"I think when we arrive at the end of February, the gap will be very, very small.
"In every championship, never one team won a title in January. We should fight until April.
"If they have seven, eight, nine points (lead) in April, it could be difficult, maybe. But in this moment we have a big chance.
"Every team during the season has two or three weeks when they don't play well, when their performances go down and they don't score.
"Even if you have fantastic strikers, like the situation we had last year, there were some moments when we scored three or four goals a game but then didn't score for three or four games and we didn't know why.
"It could be the same for them (United) now."
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