Title hopefuls Manchester City take on a dangerous Watford side in the evening kick-off on Saturday, hoping to start their second half of the season on a positive note

 

Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City team currently lie three points adrift of league leaders Arsenal FC, but the Chilean believes his side are in a good position going into their first match of the calendar year.

Watford have been a surprise this season and currently are comfortable in the top half of the league, with star forwards Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney terrorising defences on a consistent basis. As such, City will have an extremely difficult task away from home on Saturday.

Pellegrini acknowledges Watford quality

Watford sit 9th in the able, ahead of the likes of Everton, Southampton and Chelsea FC, and City boss Pellegrini believes it is because they have genuine quality in their side. The Hornets are coming off the back of a draw and a defeat against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, and those games against quality opposition will no doubt hold them in good stead for the match against one of the title favourites.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Pellegrini is quoted by the club’s official website as saying: “Maybe at the beginning of the season it can be a surprise, the same as Leicester, but when you play 19 games or so and we are still talking about Watford and Leicester, it is because they have important players in a good moment in who are giving a high performance with their managers doing a very good job.”

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The 62-year-old insists, however, that his team are in a good position at the beginning of 2016 to make a push for the title. “As for ourselves, I feel we are in a good position,” Pellegrini said. “Always the best position is to be top of the table, but I think that this is a special season in the Premier League.

“With the amount of points we have at this moment, it is not good to fight for the title in a normal season when you finish with a lot more points.

“However, we are three points behind the leaders and I hope we are going to complete strongly with a very good second half of the season.”

January transfers not ruled out

Although City were the biggest spenders in England in the summer transfer window, breaking their club record twice to sign the likes of Raheem Sterling and then Kevin De Bruyne, the January transfer window might still see some activity at the Etihad.

Addressing the media regarding the topic, Pellegrini said: “I think the squad is complete. As always, I said that we are not going to completely rule anything out, but we are not really thinking of any special players to bring in.

a I dona t talk about rumours. I am telling you what I am thinking about for our squad in this moment.”