Manchester City are not counting on any favours from Chelsea when they play Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday and must concentrate on their own performance against Crystal Palace, manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Friday.
City, who are six points behind leaders Liverpool but have a game in hand, are hoping for a Chelsea victory at Anfield to revive their diminishing title chances.
Second-placed Chelsea, five points behind the leaders with three games to play, host Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday and manager Jose Mourinho has said he may play a weakened team against Liverpool to keep senior players fresh.
“I don’t know what Chelsea are going to do – the only important thing we can do is to win our game,” Pellegrini told reporters on Friday.
“Is it fair? (that Chelsea play a weakened side) I think every team tries to make the best thing for their team. The only important thing for us is to win our game.”
Liverpool have won their last 11 games, making them strong favourites to claim their first league title in 24 years, but Pellegrini said City have not given up hope of reclaiming the trophy they won in 2012.
“They (Liverpool) have the best chance to win it but they still have to win their last three games,” the Chilean continued.
“Of course we can win the league – everyone working in football knows anything can happen when the pressure is high.”
City, whose match against Crystal Palace kicks off two hours after the table-topping clash at Anfield, travel to Selhurst Park to play a side that have won their last five league matches.
Pellegrini will be boosted by the return of 22-goal midfielder Yaya Toure, who has missed City’s last two matches with a muscle injury, but fellow midfielders David Silva and Jesus Navas are out with ankle injuries.
“It will be a very difficult game,” added Pellegrini. “We will have play well if we want to win.
“Tony Pulis is doing a very good job – Palace have been one of the best teams in the second half of the season and I congratulate him.”
Best of Express
Inside Soha Ali Khan's grand wedding reception