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The Spain international has challenged his team-mates to hit top form as they chase down Manchester United and believes a less-hectic schedule could benefit the champions

David Silva has warned that Manchester City cannot afford to lose another game this season if they are to retain the Premier League title.

City are currently seven points behind Manchester United at the top of the league, but overhauled an eight-point gap in the final weeks of last season to nick the title on the final day.

When asked if a single loss could kill their chances this term, Silva told reporters: "Yes, because if we lose, then suddenly the gap is 10 points and that is when it gets really difficult.

"But if we keep fighting we hope that they will falter.

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"All we can do, whatever the gap is, is keep going, every game, and put them under the pressure of knowing that if they lose a game or drop any points, we will get closer to them.

"That works the other way, of course, too, because if we lose we will get further away, but we cannot think about that. We just have to continue as we are. The league is still there to be won."

The Spain international is also hoping that City can use their Champions League elimination to their benefit and remain fresher for their league challenge, while United's fixture list piles up.

"That could be an advantage for us," he said. "They have an important game against Real Madrid and we only have the league to think about. That could work in our favour."

The 27-year-old backed his colleagues to catch Sir Alex Ferguson's side, however, and hopes that a touch of good fortune can shine on the champions over the rest of the season.

"I think in the last few games it's not that we've improved particularly," Silva added. "Its just that we've had that touch of fortune which maybe we weren't getting earlier on, like in the United game, when they scored a lucky goal in the last minute.

"We are playing well and doing the right things, and then we are getting those moments of good fortune going our way now."

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