Patrick Vieira has told Roberto Mancini's title chasers that they are the best team in the battle to finish top of the table in May.
City's World-Cup winning French midfielder retired from playing last summer having scooped football's top honours - including three cherished League title medals with Arsenal.
Now the Blues' Football Development Executive believes manager Mancini's squad are fully equipped to maintain their hard-fought lead in the Barclays Premier League table.
He declared: "What is important is, I think, that as a team we are better than United. It's in our hands to win the title.
"When you look at our team and how we played since the start of the season, and you look at how United have played since the start of the season, the fact is that we are better.
"But they know how to win. Sir Alex Ferguson knows the league better than anybody else, they win titles year after year. They know what to do to win the league. As a club it's quite new for us to be in this situation.
But we have players with experience, we have a manager with the experience, we have the desire to do it, and the focus is there
"At Arsenal we believed in ourselves. Our self-belief was really high, maybe some people will say that was arrogance, but it was just self-belief."
Vieira, whose Arsenal team twice achieved the League and FA Cup Double in 1998 and 2002, is convinced City are now acquiring similar self-belief, and with good reason.
He said: "We've got the best goalkeeper in the league – maybe in Europe. I believe Joe Hart is up there with Iker Casillas and Manuel Neuer as the best in the world.
"Our back four is working really hard for each other. We have one of the best players in the world in David Silva, and Yaya has also been fantastic for us. Gareth Barry is playing the best football he has every played.
"I believe we have the team to win the league. We are strong enough. They are a young team who are ambitious. Every ingredient is there to do it."