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Manuel Pellegrini believes Manchester City can win Premier League title

MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini is confident that fourth-placed Manchester City can overtake their Premier League title rivals and claim the crown.

City are 10 points behind leaders Leicester after the Foxes drew 2-2 with West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, although Pellegrini's side have two games in hand.

But they have a history of catching up to claim the title on the final day of the season. When Pellegrini's side won the league in 2014, they fought back from being six points behind leaders Liverpool with five games remaining.

Two years earlier, under Roberto Mancini, they had been eight points behind Manchester United with six games remaining but beat their neighbours to the title in the closing seconds of the season.

Pellegrini says that gives him confidence that City can finish as champions before he leaves the club in the summer.

He told a news conference: "The complete squad are confident they can win the title, especially as they have the experience.

"I have talked about the first [Premier League] title that this club won. That year, they were eight points behind Manchester United, with three minutes of the final game to go, and United were the champions. In three minutes, football changed.

"Players with that experience, who have lived those moments, know this. The whole squad is concentrating on closing that gap. If we can do it sooner, that is better, but while we have chances, we'll continue."

City have the chance to start closing the gap when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday -- three days after beating them on penalties in the Capital One Cup final.

Pellegrini has confirmed that Raheem Sterling will start the game despite the fact he is likely to face a hostile reception after controversially leaving Liverpool in a £49 million deal.

The City boss says he believes Sterling can handle the pressure but added that he did not understand why he would be booed, particularly as Liverpool's James Milner had been given a warm welcome on his return to the Etihad.

But he added: "I don't see Raheem worrying about that. I don't have any problems trusting him.

"It's not the best way, but I prefer to have those boos from the other team than from your own fans.

"The important thing is that Raheem and the other players feel the support when they play against their old team, because it's difficult for any player to do it. But all of them are prepared to do it without any problem."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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