Manuel Pellegrini says City must seize the opportunity to reduce the points difference between themselves and league leaders Arsenal.
The Blues will host the Gunners in what has been labelled one of the games of the season as the all-important Christmas season approaches.
“This is our opportunity to take three important points against the best team in the Premier League at the moment,” Pellegrini declared.
“For Arsenal and for our team, this is a very important game. They play one day after we did in the Champions League. Maybe our match was not exactly the same but I don’t think that will be an advantage or those things will decide the game. I think the way both teams will play will be more important.
If we win the match on Saturday, all the other teams will be nearer the top of the table so at least six or seven teams will continue fighting for the title
Since joining the Blues this summer, Stevan Jovetic has been hampered by injuries, but the City boss revealed the Montenegrin is back training as normal.
“Jovetic worked normally with the whole squad today, also Clichy” he said. “Nastasic will be out for at least one week more and [apart from Micah], we don’t have any other injuries.”
After an historic win over Bayern Munich in Germany on Tuesday, the manager was also keen to share his views on making it to the next stage of the competition.
“I am not afraid of who we are going to play in the round of 16. I don’t believe some teams are weaker than the other teams,” he said.
“I believe the 16 best teams in Europe are all exactly the same for us. The trust the team has after beating Bayern Munich in their own stadium - that is much more important than being first in the group. That is so, so important.”
Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Vincent Kompany were among the players rested in mid-week against Bayern and Pellegrini admits he was buoyed by the way the team performed.
“We have a lot of confidence that we can change four or five players and the team stays playing the same way,” he said.
“We are trying to find a style of play and changing names and the team plays exactly the same is very important. That for me was the most important test of the game we played against Bayern Munich.”