Mancini looks to Arsenal encounter

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has conceded that his side’s title ambitions would be effectively over with a loss to Arsenal on Sunday.

His side could kick-off the game at the Emirates eight points behind title rivals Manchester United if Sir Alex Ferguson’s side defeat QPR on Saturday.

The Italian admitted his team would be out of the race with a defeat to Arsenal, saying: "If we lose at Arsenal and United beat QPR, yes."

He has played down United’s victory over Blackburn Rovers on Monday, where he wrongly predicted the Red Devils would drop points.

The City manager insists that win alone does not end his team’s chances of bringing the title to Eastlands.

Instead, in an interview with Sky Sports, he maintained, "No, I think it's maybe more difficult but in my opinion the championship is not finished. Why not? It's possible.

"If they win all their games, congratulations, they deserve the title.

"I think maybe at the moment some don't believe because it's difficult. But in football you can always believe.

"It's important we go for an away win [at Arsenal] and win the derby. I think in six games they can lose other points."

Ferguson and his Manchester United side have an away trip to Wigan before two home fixtures against Aston Villa and Everton after they welcome QPR to Old Trafford this weekend.

Meanwhile, after an away fixture at Arsenal, Mancini’s Manchester City side host West Brom and travel to Norwich and Wolves before the all-important fixture against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on April 30th.

Josh Butler