MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini insists the top-of-the-table clash with Leicester City is not the biggest game of the season.
City could move to the top of the Premier League with a victory at the Etihad, but a defeat would see them slip six points behind the Foxes.
However, Pellegrini insists the result won't decide the title race.
He told a news conference: "It's not the biggest game of the season so far -- we can win or lose this game and the Premier League will not end here.
"We have 39 more points to fight for. You cannot think you're champion if you win and if you lose, there are lots more points. It's a good game, a big game, but not decisive."
Leicester continue to upset the odds by leading the Premier League, particularly as exactly 12 months ago they were bottom of the table.
They won seven of their final nine games last season to avoid relegation and have taken their extraordinary form into the new season.
Pellegrini believes that they should no longer be considered as surprise contenders for the title and believes they have the quality to maintain their lead until the end of the season.
"I think Leicester started last season playing very well and they continued into the season. Maybe at the start of the season it can be a surprise but not now," he said.
"They have players who give a very high performance, a team that work together and a very experienced manager so I think they will be involved in the title [race] until the end of the season.
"Now we have the option to play against them at home, I hope we can win to close the gap and continue to fight with Leicester for the title."