Santa Cruz predicts title to be a step too far for Man City

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Roque Santa Cruz does not believe that Manchester City have the quality in their squad at present to be considered serious contenders to win the Premier League.

After a summer of hefty spending, Roberto Mancini has watched his team make a spirited start to sit in fourth in the table after nine games,which has seen them priced at 7/1 to win the Premier League.

Alongside Manchester United and Arsenal, they are five points behind Chelsea and Santa Cruz feels that City are still short of the necessary quality to challenge for anything more than a top-four finish.

He told Spanish radio station Cadena Sur: “We are below the level of those who will fight for the title. Our goal must be to be among the top four.

“Chelsea look the strongest, the most stable. Manchester United and Arsenal have great squads and will end up fighting for the title and we will have to play for fourth, probably with Tottenham.”

One of the key tasks facing Mancini is keeping star striker Carlos Tevez motivated and wanting to play for the club.

Recent reports have suggested that Tevez is homesick and wants to return to Argentina, although he is tied to Manchester City until 2014.

Tevez is almost certain not to leave Eastlands this season and Mancini will need him to continue his hot scoring streak if City are to feature in the title race.

The 26-year-old has already scored seven goals in the top flight during this campaign and is 5/2 to finish the season as the Premier League’s top scorer.

Manchester City travel to Wolves next and will be hoping that Tevez scores his third goal against Mick McCarthy’s men in as many appearance for City to help them secure a valuable three points.

Manchester City are 4/6 to win at Wolves, with the home side 9/2 to land the spoils. See the full Wolves vs Manchester City match betting odds market.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.