Roberto Mancini: Newcastle United match tougher than Manchester United battle

Roberto Mancini
© PA Photos
Roberto Mancini emphasises the importance of Manchester City's weekend clash against Newcastle United.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes that his players will have to treat this weekend's crucial Premier League clash against Newcastle United like a Champions League final.

The North West side take on the Magpies at the Sports Direct Arena on Sunday and the blue half of Manchester have the chance to go three points clear at the top of the table before their arch rivals Manchester United play Swansea City later that day.

"Newcastle will be our hardest game - harder than United," said Mancini. "It is strange but it is like this. They have had a fantastic season and are playing to get into the Champions League.

"Their manager is one of the best managers here and it will be a tough game. It is another Champions League final on Sunday. We have two - Newcastle and QPR. We have to keep a big concentration until May 13."

City managed to go level on points with the Red Devils when they defeated Sir Alex Ferguson's side with a single goal on Monday.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City22006246
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd22005146
3Hull City22004136
4Chelsea22004226
5Everton21103214
6Middlesbrough21103214
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs21102114
8Burnley21012113
9West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom21012203
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham21012203
11Liverpool210145-13
12Swansea CitySwansea210112-13
13Arsenal201134-11
14Watford201123-11
15Leicester CityLeicester201112-11
16Southampton201113-21
17Stoke CityStoke201125-31
18Sunderland200224-20
19Crystal Palace200202-20
20Bournemouth200214-30