Mancini: It's Win Or Bust
Everton first of three must-win games for City, says Italian.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has admitted Saturday's trip to Goodison Park is the first of three win or bust fixtures for his side.
The reigning champions will arrive at Goodison Park 12 points adrift of Premier League leaders and city rivals Manchester United with just 10 games of the campaign remaining.
Last season, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson attributed a 4-4 draw with Everton as the game that cost his team the title as City overhauled an eight-point deficit to pinch the trophy on the final day of the season.
A year on, Mancini knows there is no room for slip-ups if City are to reel United in again - making the showdown with the Toffees pivotal to their slim chances of retaining the crown.
"Every game against Everton is very hard. They are a top team who always play at 200 per cent. They have good players and a good manager," acknowledged Mancini on Friday. "This weekend is important for us, the next two or three games are crucial. If United lost some points then maybe...
"Then after that we have the derby. We hope we can play the derby with the lead down to 10 or nine or seven points.
"When you are behind you need to win every game. You need to do everything."
Mancini also confirmed he will be without injured duo Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany despite the pair closing in on first-team returns.
Striker Aguero suffered a knee injury in training before City's 1-0 victory over Aston Villa earlier this month, while captain Kompany has been out since sustaining a calf problem in an FA Cup victory at Stoke in January.
"Sergio is in Argentina but he will come back on Sunday," said Mancini. "Vincent is not in our plans for tomorrow. But I think he will be ready for the Newcastle game [on 30 March], like Sergio.”
Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available. To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878. Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.
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