Joe Hart believes that in-form Blues are primed to seize their moment of destiny on derby day.
England's goalkeeper has played a major role in City's surge back to title form before Monday night's Etihad showdown offers the chance to return to the top of the table.
Hart insisted: “We’ve always been focused on finishing the season well and we have given ourselves a really good chance.
“There are only a few games now. We’ve been putting this one off for a long time and people have been talking about it. But now it’s the next game and the one we are excited about.
“Our title chances are certainly a lot better than they were. We are excited - we feel ready, we are firing goals in. We are looking forward to it.”
Hart was deservedly named in the PFA Team of the Year on Sunday hours after another clean sheet in the 2-0 win at Wolves, but he refuses to relax his pursuit of excellence.
He has been studying DVDs of Real Madrid's World Cup-winning captain Iker Casillas to see how the Spaniard deals with one-against-one situations and keeps his concentration levels high.
He said: "I'm trying to work out exactly how Casillas manages to react to what the forward does, instead of trying to force the striker into a decision.
"It's better doing it his way, using your reflexes rather than trying to anticipate what is going to happen.
I'm working on it - it's something I need to learn
"More and more I'm coming across different strikers or styles of play that require just what Casillas has - quick decision-making and quick reflexes.'
Hart is also impressed by the way Casillas retains his focus: "When your team are on top, the most difficult thing is not saving two dozen shots, but making saves when you only have to face three shots on target."
"It's something people don't appreciate and I've studied Casillas to see how he does it."