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Manchester City’s visit could make or break Arsenal’s title hopes

Mar 29, 2014, 6:50 AM EDT

wenger pellegrini Getty Images

Arsenal host Manchester City at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday – and even Arsène Wenger admits that the Gunners need a win if they want to stay in the race for the Premier League title.

Currently in fourth, Arsenal are six points away from Chelsea in first. But the Blues should have an easy time of it at Crystal Palace, while there will likely be nothing simple about Manchester City’s visit. The Citizens are unbeaten in their last five, keeping a clean sheet all the while. Then there’s the added complication that, although City are currently third, they also have two games in hand.

(READ MORE: ARSENAL VS. MANCHESTER CITY PREVIEW)

That makes this match something like a title six-pointer, if such a thing exists. And both managers know it.

“I think that if we win on Saturday we can be 12 points on top of Arsenal if we win the two games that here we have in hand,” said Manuel Pellegrini. But the City manager is keeping perspective: “”It is a match of six points but it is not the last match and not the match that will decide the title.”

While Pellegrini is thinking about a twelve-point gap, Wenger is focused on pulling even with the visitors: “City are favourites with Chelsea and Liverpool to win the title but when you play one of the favourites you have the opportunity to shorten the distance. Champions keep going when everybody else would give up and we have an opportunity to show we have that mentality on Saturday.”

After a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea and losing out on three points against Swansea midweek, mental fortitude doesn’t seem to be high on the list of traits Arsenal possess. But if there’s ever a time to prove they can think like champions, this game against Manchester City would certainly be it.