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On the eve of 'derby of derbies' Mancini is still playing down City's chances

Do you believe him, United fans?

Roberto Mancini: United have 'easy' games in run-in.
Roberto Mancini: United have 'easy' games in run-in.
Image: Getty images

ROBERTO MANCINI REMAINS downbeat on Manchester City’s chances of wrenching the Premier League title from Manchester United.

City could pull ahead of their neighbours on goal difference at the top if they win their crucial derby match tomorrow, but the Italian still expects United to triumph.

“I am not surprised because in football, until you finish the championship or every game, anything can happen,” Mancini told reporters when quizzed on United’s slip from a clear lead to allow his side back into the race.

“But my opinion is always the same — I think they have more chance than us. We play the derby [tomorrow] and then afterwards Newcastle, that will be a very tough game, then after that QPR. Instead, United will play against Swansea and Sunderland and I think for them they will be two easy games. I think (even) if we win this game, they are favourites.”

Mancini’s opposite number, Alex Ferguson, has labelled tomorrow’s match ‘the derby of all derbies’, and the 47-year-old agreed.

“After 50 years, Manchester United and Manchester City are playing for the title (once more). For this reason I agree with him,” he added.

There could also be a return in store for controversial striker Mario Balotelli, whom Mancini had previously implied would not play again this season after his red card against Arsenal. However, with his ban at an end, the coach hinted that he could be involved.

“We have another two training sessions but all the players are available,” Mancini said. ”I have 48 hours until the game. I have time to decide for every player.”

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