Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has warned his team-mates that hopes of a title challenge may be brought to an end on Sunday if they fail to beat Everton.
The Ivorian was frozen out earlier in the season but returned to the fold before the Christmas and New Year programme and made an immediate impact.
However, the Citizens still remain seven points behind leaders Chelsea, with work to do if they are to close the gap.
City, who are priced at 7.50 to win the Premier League, recently showed some resolve to beat Burnley 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, despite going down to ten men early in the clash when midfielder Fernandinho was shown a straight red card, before going on to thrash West Ham 5-0 in the FA Cup.
Pep Guardiola’s outfit needed to show signs of improvement after falling to three defeats over the course of a busy December.
Toure has urged the squad to continue the strong form in 2017 when they travel to face Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The former Barcelona man believes anything less than a win on Merseyside could see their hopes of lifting the Premier League title brought to an abrupt end.
Toure said: “We can’t let the gap get any bigger between ourselves and the leaders, so we have to go to Everton and win if we’re to remain in the title race this season.”