Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Leicester City’s lack of games gives them an advantage in the Premier League title race.
City eased into the FA Cup fifth round with Saturday’s 4-0 win at Aston Villa, having already reached the League Cup final and Champions League knock-out stages.
Leicester have only 15 league games left, but City will play 27 matches if they go all the way in every competition – more with FA Cup replays – and Pellegrini conceded Claudio Ranieri’s leaders, who they welcome to the Etihad on Saturday, may have the edge.
“If you ask me if I want to be still in all four competitions, then the answer is yes, but if you are saying if it is easier when you play less games then maybe,” he said, ahead of Tuesday’s game at Sunderland, with City three points behind Leicester.
“It’s a view about Leicester, but I’m focusing more on my team.
“(In the last six weeks) we’ve got to the final of one cup and we have progressed in the other. We could be top of the table after the next two games depending on how we play. So if we win the next two games it’s probably impossible to have been better.”
Kelechi Iheanacho scored a hat-trick in Saturday’s victory and is set to be included in Pellegrini’s Champions League squad ahead of Tuesday’s registration deadline.
But the 19-year-old is likely to be dropped in favour of Sergio Aguero for City’s trip to the Stadium of Light, with David Silva also set to return.
“Well, both of them are fit so probably (they will start). We have to decide,” added Pellegrini.
Iheanacho, though, insisted he will be ready when called on.
He added: “I need to build confidence now in order to play and that’s what I’m working on. There’s no need for me to fear anything because I’m a professional footballer, but I need to build my confidence to play.”