Bernardo Silva believes the upcoming derby clash with Manchester United will be crucial in deciding if Manchester City win the Premier League title.
City top the table ahead of Liverpool’s game against Cardiff on Sunday, with Wednesday’s trip to Old Trafford appearing to be the biggest hurdle left facing them as they chase another Premier League crown following Saturday’s tense 1-0 win over Tottenham.
Much has been made over whether United fans might actually prefer loathed neighbours City to win the title rather than arch-rivals Liverpool, but Silva does not expect that to affect players’ thinking.
United are in a tight battle themselves for a top-four spot and Silva thinks they will be just as hungry for the points.
The Portugal midfielder said: “We are so happy with the win [on Saturday] and now it’s on to another tough one against Manchester United which I think will be crucial for the title.
“It’s a big game for us, a big game for them. They need points to be in the top four and we need them to fight for the title.
“So we expect a very difficult game against one of the best sides in England.
“They will be motivated to beat us and we look forward to it. We know we need the win, and the pressure is on – but that’s a good thing.”
Silva played an influential part as City gained a measure of revenge for their midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Spurs.
His clever cross in the fifth minute opened up the Spurs defence and Sergio Aguero nodded across goal for 18-year-old Phil Foden to head what proved the clincher at the Etihad Stadium.
Silva said: “It was a massive win, very important for us, especially after the defeat in the Champions League.
“We wanted to give a response with our fans here at home and I think we did it in the best way possible in difficult conditions. It was very warm outside and we played a very tough team with less than 72 hours to recover. It was three big points.”