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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4Manchester CityMan City25145647262147
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd25118632221041
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510963829939
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8Everton25811646341235
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13Chelsea257993335-230
14West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2578102332-929
15Bournemouth2577112941-1228
16Swansea CitySwansea2569102433-927
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2566132644-1824
18Norwich CityNorwich2565142848-2023
19Sunderland2555153049-1920
20Aston Villa2537152040-2016