City head into tomorrow's clash at the Etihad knowing that a loss would see high-flying Chelsea open up an eight-point gap over them, a margin which Silva claims is "too big" to make up.
"It's a very important game," he told The Mirror. "They're first and they've got points ahead of us.
"We can't afford to lose on Sunday and open that gap, so it's a very important game.
"It's early in the season, there's a long way to go and we know in the Premier League that anything can happen. But we need to win on Sunday, otherwise the gap would be getting too big between the clubs."
Sunday's clash at Eastlands gets underway at 4pm.