Manchester City midfielder James Milner is optimistic his team can keep their impressive home form up and defeat Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal tomorrow lunchtime.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have won 10 of their 11 Etihad Stadium matches in all competitions this term – they lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League – and scored 44 goals.
And, heading into this weekend’s clash buoyed by Tuesday’s brilliant come-from-behind 3-2 triumph in the reverse fixture against the European champions, Milner is upbeat.
“They are top, playing very well and are full of confidence,” the 27-year-old former Leeds United midfielder said. “But we have been performing very well at home. Hopefully we can keep that going and I’m sure if we perform like we have been at home, we will have every chance of getting the win.”
Arsenal go into the game having also qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, albeit after a 2-0 loss at Napoli on Wednesday.
“Saturday was on our mind, (but) we knew to come to Naples would be difficult,” Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said.
“We have done our job, now we will give absolutely everything on Saturday morning.”
Second-placed Liverpool travel to Tottenham on Sunday afternoon in another tasty looking encounter.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has issues to contend with in central midfield, with captain Steven Gerrard likely to be sidelined for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury and Jordan Henderson struggling with bruising on his right ankle.
Third-spotted Chelsea will be looking to capitalise if the Gunners slip up in Manchester – Jose Mourinho’s men host second-bottom Crystal Palace tomorrow
The Blues secured top spot in Champions League Group E on Wednesday with a 1-0 defeat of Steaua Bucharest, and now turn their attention back to domestic matters and bidding to forget last weekend’s loss at Stoke.
Fulham striker Darren Bent has been training well this week and is in contention for the tricky trip to fifth-placed Everton, while Cardiff face West Brom, West Ham take on Sunderland, while on Sunday Norwich do battle with Swansea.