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
CLeicester CityLeicester382312368363281
2Arsenal382011765362971
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs381913669353470
4Manchester CityMan City381991071413066
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991049351466
6Southampton381891159411863
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham381614865511462
8Liverpool3816121063501360
9Stoke CityStoke38149154155-1451
10Chelsea381214125953650
11Everton381114135955447
12Swansea CitySwansea381211154252-1047
13Watford38129174050-1045
14West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom381013153448-1443
15Crystal Palace38119183951-1242
16Bournemouth38119184567-2242
17Sunderland38912174862-1439
RNewcastle UnitedNewcastle38910194465-2137
RNorwich CityNorwich3897223967-2834
RAston Villa3838272776-4917