Man City cannot afford any more slip-ups
09 February 2015, 15:31
London - Manchester City's chances of winning the Premier League title for the third time in four seasons will almost certainly end if they lose at Stoke City and Chelsea beat Everton on Wednesday.
The gap between the leaders and the champions widened to seven points on Saturday when Chelsea won 2-1 at Aston Villa and City drew at home with Hull City, needing a stoppage-time free kick from James Milner to grab a point from a 1-1 draw.
With 14 matches to play, Chelsea have 56 points and City 49, followed by Southampton on 45, Manchester United on 44 and Tottenham Hotspur on 43.
Spurs are at Liverpool on Tuesday while Southampton host West Ham United and Manchester United face Burnley at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Southampton and Spurs maintained their challenges for Champions League football by winning on Saturday, with Saints needing a stoppage-time goal from Sadio Mane to beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0. Two goals from Harry Kane gave Spurs a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in a thrilling north London derby.
United also scored in stoppage time, Dutchman Daley Blind emulating Milner by salvaging a late point for his team in a 1-1 draw.
"We can't really afford too many more slip-ups if any. Chelsea have a big lead now, but we know, more than anyone, you have to keep going to the death and anything can happen," Milner told reporters.
"But I think we have got to be pretty much faultless between now and he end of the season to get close."
Stoke stunned City when they won 1-0 at the Etihad in August and although the last four league matches between the two at the Britannia have been drawn, City must win and hope Chelsea slip up to stay in the title hunt.
Arsenal will be hoping to bounce back from their loss at Spurs with a win over bottom-placed Leicester City who will have Nigel Pearson in charge despite widespread speculation he had been sacked as manager on Sunday.
Leicester have not won at Arsenal for nearly 42 years and been beaten there on their last seven league visits.
Managerless QPR, one place and two points above Leicester, will be seeking to avoid a 12th successive away league defeat at Sunderland, while Alan Pardew, who left Newcastle United six weeks ago, will be looking to continue Crystal Palace's revival when his old team visit Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
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