It’s matchday! City travel to Arsenal tonight in arguably the biggest game of the season so far and unsurprisingly, the clash dominates the Blues headlines this morning.
The top story appears, courtesy of our magician. David Silva has spoken to the press to share his pre-match thoughts, asserting his side’s past experiences can spur them to the league crown.
The Spaniard also insisted this evening’s encounter arrives too early to be deemed a ‘title decider’ but admits Manuel Pellegrini’s men need the three points.
Quoted in the Independent, he states: “We have to win, win, win.
“Clearly, Arsenal is a great team – you can see, with the players they’ve got there, and they got a fantastic result in Greece [against Olympiakos in the Champions League] that proves they can turn it around as well.
“It’s an important game, but it’s not going to define anything. For us, though, it’s just that we have to win."
Silva also revealed that, if City don’t win the title, he would prefer Arsenal to do so because their playing style is similar to the Blues’.
He explained: “The way I play football, you always feel attracted to teams that play the way you play and if we don’t win the title and Arsenal do, it would be good – but we’re here to win it.
“Arsenal is clearly a very strong team, but Leicester are playing very well, so both really are direct rivals. You cannot discount Leicester because they are playing very well. They are confident and winning their games.
“We are seeing that, unless you are 100 per cent, you can lose a game and the intensity and the fact that everyone is able to win makes the league very, very interesting.
“When you win, that gives you confidence and gives you experience to keep winning titles. You know you have done it already.”
Elsewhere, ever eager to amplify drama, media sources are claiming tonight’s game will define who will lift the title come May.
One of those outlets is ESPN, as Simon Curtis writes: “Experts up and down the country are sitting on their hands waiting for Arsenal and Manchester City to finally show their true credentials. So far, that has only been offered in small and infrequent doses.
"In City's case, there have been more injuries than usual; more, in fact, than any other team in the top-flight. Although City manager Manuel Pellegrini clearly has a squad to cope with such irregularities, it is still an unplanned burden on those who have managed to stay fit so far.
“The pressure of playing week in, week out has already begun to take its toll on Kevin De Bruyne, who was excused from normal duties last time out, when City squeezed past a highly competitive Swansea City at the Etihad with an extremely late winner from Kelechi Iheanacho.
“Acting as a counterbalance to natural feelings of staleness and tired legs is the adrenaline rush that continues to flow from winning. The more a side wins, the more likely they are to carry on winning.
“It builds confidence in their ability to overcome even the toughest of challenges, which is why this game -- without being crucial at this stage of the Premier League campaign -- can still give the winners a considerable boost for the rest of the season.
“Few will argue that, with Chelsea absent from the chase, most eyes will fall on Arsenal and City for pointers towards who will run out the 2015-16 Premier League as champions.
“With five of the best performers in the league in David Silva, Mezut Ozil, Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and De Bruyne, both sides pack the punch and possess the extra quality to outrun the likes of Leicester and United.”
Meanwhile, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has described this year’s title race as ‘sensational’, enjoying what is being deemed ‘the year of the underdog’.
He told the Club’s official website: “It inspires everybody. The teams behind by five or six points all think that with a good run they can be there.
“It is very open, but that’s what is sensational. It is not only a league where you think it’s only Real Madrid or Barcelona [who can win it]. I find it very good and very healthy.”
Finally, in a snippet of transfer news, after it was reported yesterday City were eyeing a move for Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, there has been an alleged development as the Sunday People claim Roy Hodgson has advised the striker against a move.
Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri has also warned off any potential suitors, asserting he is not for sale.