‘Sole focus gives Foxes advantage’

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Pellegrini’s side have not beaten any side currently in the top six of the Premier League this season, drawing three and losing four

Leicester City have the advantage in the title race because they only have the Premier League to aim for, says Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

The surprise leaders have 13 top-flight matches left to play, having already been knocked out of both domestic cups.

Pellegrini’s side could play 27 times as they challenge for four trophies.

“It is important that Leicester are always able to play with the same team,” the Chilean said. “They haven’t got too many injuries at this moment.”

Leicester are five points clear of second-placed Tottenham following Saturday’s 3-1 win over Pellegrini’s team at Etihad Stadium.

“Going forward, Leicester have an advantage. But I don’t think that will be the only thing they need from now to the end of the season,” Pellegrini added.

The Blues have dropped to fourth, but are still chasing an unprecedented quadruple of the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League.

But their ambitions have been hampered by a fixture pile-up and a host of injury problems, leaving Pellegrini complaining that his squad has been stretched.

Spain attacking midfielder David Silva became the latest to join that lengthy injury list after hurting his ankle against Leicester.

“We have seven players injured at the moment in the same positions – two centre-backs, Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala – and in attack – Kevin de Bruyne, Jesus Navas, Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri and now Silva,” said Pellegrini, who will be replaced by Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.

“That makes it more difficult. Let’s hope we can recover.”

Pellegrini’s side host second-placed Spurs on Sunday – a key day in the title race as Leicester also travel to third-placed Arsenal.


Former Arsenal, Leicester and England defender Martin Keown

“Apart from after one round of midweek Premier League games in March, Leicester will almost always have a full week between each fixture between now and the end of the season. That’s something I don’t think will suit them.

“They have just beaten Liverpool and won at Manchester City in the space of five days and I think the quick succession of games really helped them.

“They look like a team of high-energy players, and we see that in their games, so Claudio Ranieri is going to have to gear training towards their fixture schedule – to keep them relaxed but ready to go at the right times.”


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