Mancini has refused to concede defeat despite the champions falling 12 points behind United a month ago and being given no opportunity by their rivals to reduce the deficit since.
The Italian is relying on favours from elsewhere but is determined to pounce on any United slip-ups in the two rounds of fixtures before the sides meet at Old Trafford on April 8.
Mancini said: "The next two or three games will be crucial.
"If they lose a point in the next two games - maybe.
"After the two games, we have the derby. But it all depends on us. When you are behind you should win every game.
"We hope we can play a derby with nine, seven points, maybe 10. Less than 12 would be better.
"From the derby to the end of the season, they have three or four difficult games."