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 City66001851318
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs6420103714
3Arsenal6411157813
4Liverpool6411169713
5Everton6411104613
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd6402127512
7Crystal Palace6312107310
8Chelsea6312109110
9Southampton62227618
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom62227618
11Watford62131011-17
12Leicester CityLeicester6213811-37
13Burnley621358-37
14Hull City6213712-57
15Bournemouth621349-57
16Middlesbrough612369-35
17Swansea CitySwansea6114510-54
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham6105716-93
19Stoke CityStoke6024415-112
20Sunderland6015512-71