An opportunity to close the gap on Manchester City at the top of the table will be Chelsea's main motivation for victory ahead of their Barclays Premier League clash with the league leaders, reveals Juan Mata.

The Blues will go into Monday's Stamford Bridge encounter in high spirits following back-to-back 3-0 victories, away at Newcastle and at home to Valencia - the latter confirming their place in the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Another victory for Andre Villas-Boas' side will propel Chelsea back into title contention, whereas defeat will leave them 13 points behind the Citizens.

Mata admits that a loss would be detrimental to the club's hopes of league success this year, and insists he and his teammates are thinking positively ahead of the game.

"I'm just thinking of winning," said the Spaniard. "Man City are having a great Premier League.

"There are so many weeks until the Premier League finishes. We will keep going every week to win and to be closest to the leader."

The 23-year-old will line up against fellow midfielder and international compatriot David Silva when Chelsea meet City, but Mata says that their friendship will be put to one side as both teams go out in search of victory.

"He's my friend. He's doing very well, playing for Man City and I will change my shirt with him," added Mata.

"This season has been very, very good for him because he's showing his level."

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Juan Mata