Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes his team can cut the seven-point gap to Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table by the end of the month.
With City out of Europe, United resume their Champions League challenge with a much-anticipated clash against Real Madrid amd face a pile up of fixtures at a time that Mancini feels it could be key in the race for the title.
United are at the Bernabeu on February 13, three days after a testing visit from Everton, and then host the Spanish giants on March 5.
Mancini said: "They are two important games for United so I think that February and March could be the time when it's possible to decide this championship.''
City dropped two points as they were held to a goalless draw at QPR in midweek but Mancini does not see any reason to worry.
He said: "This doesn't change (anything). I think when we arrive at the end of February, the gap will be very, very small. In every championship, never one team won a title in January. We should fight until April.
"If they have seven, eight, nine points (lead) in April, it could be difficult, maybe. But in this moment we have a big chance. Every team during the season has two or three weeks when they don't play well, when their performances go down and they don't score.
"Even if you have fantastic strikers, like the situation we had last year, there were some moments when we scored three or four goals a game but then didn't score for three or four games and we didn't know why. It could be the same for them (United) now.''