English Premiership

Leicester are worthy title favourites - Pellegrini

2016-02-07 11:42
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini conceded that Leicester City were worthy favourites to lift the Premier League title following his side's humbling in their top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

While he is confident the 3-1 defeat is just a blip for Manchester City with everything still to play for, he is dismayed by the news David Silva has joined a lengthy injury list and could miss another pivotal game against Tottenham Hotspur next weekend.

At the end of a week in which his exit at the end of the season to be replaced by Pep Guardiola has been the talk of the Etihad Stadium, Pellegrini refused to use that sideshow as an excuse for the fact his team dropped six points behind Leicester.

"I don't want to make excuses. Leicester played better than our team. If they continue the way they are playing they are favourites as they are doing well and have an advantage in points," Pellegrini told reporters.

"It just depends on what they can do from now until the end of the season but having to play 13 more games it is very difficult to predict."

Third-placed Manchester City had only a late Sergio Aguero consolation to enthuse about after a double from Robert Huth, sandwiched by a lovely slalom and strike from Riyad Mahrez, had put Leicester in total command.

Pellegrini's worries are beginning to pile up with second-placed Spurs, one point ahead of them, next to visit the Etihad.

Playmaker Silva suffered an ankle injury and was taken off after 77 minutes, leaving the manager to point out he has only 13 fit outfielders to choose from.

"We will see but I think it will be difficult for him to recover soon," he said.

When asked if he thought Silva would be ready for the Spurs game, Pellegrini replied: "I don't think so".

Spain midfielder Silva, who has missed a large chunk of the season with an ankle problem, joins Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne, Eliaquim Mangala, Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony on the sidelines.

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Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
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West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
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Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
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