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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2Manchester CityMan City38247783384579
3Arsenal38229771363575
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd382010862372570
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs38197125853564
6Liverpool38188125248462
7Southampton381861454332160
8Swansea CitySwansea38168144649-356
9Stoke CityStoke38159144845354
10Crystal Palace38139164751-448
11Everton381211154850-247
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham381211154447-347
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom381111163851-1344
14Leicester CityLeicester38118194655-941
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38109194063-2339
16Sunderland38717143153-2238
17Aston Villa38108203157-2638
RHull City38811193351-1835
RBurnley38712192853-2533
RQueens Park RangersQPR3886244273-3130
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