Chelsea – City Match Preview
Both manager’s will surely use the absences of key players as an excuse should they lose this match, with Chelsea likely to be without Fabregas and Costa and City still missing Yaya Toure due to international duty. The hosts will also feel the effects of their gruelling 120 minutes of action against a rampant Liverpool in their legs but Pellegrini’s men have looked far from their best since they first closed the points gap at the top of the table. If City lose on Saturday they will fall 8 points behind the Blues, handing Mourinho’s men a significant advantage in the title race. This is perhaps a match in which both managers, Mourinho in particular, will be more concerned with avoiding defeat, so a draw may well be the most likely outcome between these two sides once again as one can imagine a few buses being parked around Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea earned a Wembley showdown with Spurs midweek, but the win over Liverpool was marred by a number of injuries and a potential suspension to striker Diego Costa. Mourinho’s top scorer may well be out for three matches at the least, pending an appeal process, following two incidents unseen by referee Michael Oliver on Tuesday night. Meanwhile the likes of Ivanovic, Luis and Fabregas all picked up injuries, with the latter two perhaps most in doubt for Saturday’s tie. If Fabregas is unable to play then Mourinho must choose between the more defensive option of Mikel or his favourite player, Ramires, whom he so publically praised in midweek. Yaya Toure and new signing Wilfried Bony remain unavailable after the Ivory Coast scraped through their group at the Africa Cup of Nations and City’s form without the them has been under scrutiny of late, while the likes of Kompany and Aguero have struggled since their respective returns from injury. Eliaquim Mangala missed the cup defeat to Middlesbrough last weekend but should be in contention ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge and Pellegrini, meanwhile, may well be weighing up the option to start Frank Lampard against his former club to really unsettle the atmosphere before a ball is even kicked.
Our Probable Formations:
Chelsea (220.127.116.11) Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard and Drogba.
Manchester City (18.104.22.168) Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Navas, Silva, Milner and Aguero.
Some hot Tips:
Chelsea have won their last 10 home matches in the Premier League.
Chelsea have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 8 home matches in the Premier League.
Chelsea have scored at least 2 goals in their last 10 home matches in the Premier League.
Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 home matches in the Premier League. Chelsea have seen over 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 home matches against Man City in all competitions.
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Chelsea’s last 3 home games in the Premier League.
Chelsea have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 3 matches against Man City in all competitions.
Man City are undefeated in their last 6 away matches in the Premier League.