Ex-Manchester City midfielder Martin Petrov has written off the Premier League champions’ title defence.
Petrov spent three seasons at Etihad Stadium before enduring an unhappy time at English second tier club Bolton.
While retaining a soft spot for his former employers, the Bulgarian, who is seeing out his playing days with La Liga side Espanyol, believes Roberto Mancini’s side cannot catch league leaders Manchester United at the top of the standings.
City trail their arch-rivals by 15 points heading into Monday’s clash against lowly Aston Villa.
“It’s difficult. Manchester United are good team and everyone knows what they can do and what sort of manager they have,” the 34-year-old said.
“I want Manchester City to win the title but with 15 points behind that’s a bit too much. But I want them to be champions.”