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Numbers game adds up for Mancini

Mancini scarf

Mancini scarf

Roberto Mancini has told his players that booking their Champions League place for next season won't be rocket science, just a matter of simple mathematics.

City's manager has joined everyone else in studying the revised Premier League table after rivals Tottenham leapfrogged two points ahead into fourth place following the derby defeat.

Spurs might look favourites in the numbers game but face a testing trip to Old Trafford on Saturday as City head for The Emirates, and have only one match at home to play.

And while his team face a tough run-in with Arsenal and Aston Villa on the card as well as a last-day trip to relegation fighters West Ham, Mancini has a surefire formula for success.

The upbeat Blues boss insisted: "We still have a good chance for fourth position. We must play four more games, and one of them is against Tottenham at home in the last week.

"We have to win the same points as Tottenham and we also have to beat them at home - it is mathematics. Simple! We must be positive, because in the last match we played well."

Mancini is still smarting at the manner of his side's defeat - Paul Scholes' decisive header in the dying seconds was the third time the Reds have snatched a late derby win this season.

He said: "Arsenal are a good team, but I think we have a chance to win there. We know that it will be a difficult game, but we can beat every team if we play well - and if we have a little luck, unlike the last game!

"We know that it's not always that simple in football, but we have to think positive in the position we are in, with the last four games to play."

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