Jovetic insists City are favorites ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby
Stevan Jovetic insists Manchester City are firm favorites to win this weekend’s derby against United despite their recent wobble.
City stretched their unwanted winless streak to three matches on Wednesday when they suffered a shock 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle in the Capital One Cup.
That loss, coupled with last weekend’s reverse at West Ham and the unexpected draw at CSKA Moscow, has left manager Manuel Pellegrini "worried" about his team’s form going into Sunday’s game against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.
The Chilean talked about a "lack of trust and confidence" within his squad on Wednesday night, but Jovetic is not panicking just yet.
The City striker admires United’s summer signings, but he is convinced his own team are primed to serve up a backlash to them come Sunday afternoon.
"I don’t think so," was Jovetic’s response when it was put to him that United could now be favorites for Sunday’s match.
"Confidence cannot go away in two games. We are all very good players. Every one of us has big confidence and we just need to show that on Sunday.
"If you win the derby it is going to be much easier and we are going to forget (the Newcastle) game. I am sure this is going to be the last game we play like this. I am sure we are going to show our real face against United."
Pellegrini was hailed for bringing City their second Premier League title last season, knocking Liverpool off the top of the table during a thrilling run-in.
The former Malaga manager had a night to forget against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup though. He made seven changes, leaving key men such as Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero out of his starting line-up, but still sent out a strong team.
That not only backfired in terms of the result, but two of the stars who did start, David Silva and Yaya Toure, suffered injuries.
Silva is now a doubt for the derby after limping out of the action with a knee problem after just nine minutes. Toure was later withdrawn as a precaution due to a groin injury.
United have had their troubles this season, but they put on arguably their best performance of the campaign to snatch a draw against league leaders Chelsea last weekend.
Angel di Maria, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney, who is back from suspension, could all start at the Etihad, but Jovetic thinks United are still the perfect opposition for City this weekend.
"I think it is a good game because always when you play a derby your motivation is 100 per cent," the Montenegro striker said. "It is going to be difficult because they are a very good team.
"They have new players, good players, but we believe we can believe we can win and we need to show that."
Just like City, who are six points below the summit, Jovetic has had an indifferent start to the season.
With the departure of Alvaro Negredo, Jovetic was expected to try to push his claim for a starting place alongside Aguero, but the 24-year-old has only scored twice this season – and that brace came 10 weeks ago against Liverpool.
The former Fiorentina man hopes to end his goal drought on his birthday this weekend though.
"I am 25 on Sunday and the best gift for me is a victory in the derby," Jovetic added. "I am always sad when I don’t score because that is my job. But after a long time I played 90 minutes (against Newcastle) and I feel good. I was fit both games (last year) and I didn’t play. But I know what the derby means."