Pellegrini's side host European champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday but first face Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday.
City attracted some criticism after labouring to a goalless draw at Stoke a fortnight ago, three days before their last outing in Europe, but the City boss insists his quest for top spot takes priority for now.
"I am sure nobody is thinking about Bayern Munich," Pellegrini said. "We are all thinking about Aston Villa.
"We know it is a strong team playing at home. We need to play a very good game if we want to win and we need to win away now.
"We have lost one away and drawn the other, for different reasons.
"It is in the past so I don't continue talking about those games but tomorrow we have the opportunity to win against Aston Villa.
"It is very important for us to reach the first position of the table."
City have enjoyed an outstanding spell since that Stoke stalemate, opening their Champions League campaign with a comfortable win over Viktoria Plzen and then thrashing Manchester United and Wigan.
They scored 12 goals in the process and despite 10 changes against the Latics in the Capital One Cup, Pellegrini was thrilled to see the fluid, attacking style very much in evidence.
"If we repeat what we did against Manchester United, very near," he added, when asked if the team was playing to his expectations.
"But all the games are different, performances are different, the squads are different.
"The important thing is we see the same team but with different names."