City currently sit 12 points behind league leaders Manchester United and are all but mathematically out of the title race. Manager Roberto Mancini will be disappointed with his side’s title-challenge this season, along with their poor run in the Champion’s League.
However, things could get worse for the Italian if his side fail to beat The Blues this weekend. Chelsea are currently just 4 points behind the title-holders and could make life very difficult indeed for the champions as they head in to the business end of the season.
City are by no means alone in their disappointment with the outcome of this season. Chelsea became the first team to win the Champion’s League and exit at the group stages the following year, as they did this term. They came oh so close to winning the FIFA Club World Cup but failed to take their chances against Corinthians.
The Blues then crashed out of the Capital One Cup semi-finals to Swansea and are could face Manchester United in the FA Cup. Their hopes of securing another Premier League title are long gone and the Europa League represents their best chances of silverware this season.
However, should Chelsea lose in Manchester this weekend, they could drop down to 4th in the league table. Tottenham are breathing down their necks just one point behind and failure to take all three points at the Etihad on Sunday could cost them dearly as they would drop down into 4th, as Spurs would overtake them with a win against West Ham on Monday.
Lurking just outside the top four are Arsenal in 5th. The Gunners are another side with few reasons to be cheerful this season, after crashing out of the FA Cup, the Capital One Cup, they’re now left with little hope of overturning their 3-1 defeat this week in Munich to progress in the Champion’s League.
Making top-four this season is Arsenal’s top and only real priority now and they’ll be focused on that objective without distraction. They’ve never finished outside the top four under Arsene Wenger and they’ll feel that closing the 4 point gap on North London rivals Spurs would be the only way to salvage something from the season.
Let’s not forget big defeats have a knock-on effect. Whoever loses Sunday’s clash could feel the hangover of the defeat over the course of the next few fixtures. The pressure is on City already and they haven’t won a league game in their last three.
Chelsea have the perfect opportunity to put some real pressure on them and, simultaneously, relieve some of the pressure that Spurs are putting on them. City, in many ways, have everything to lose. If they slip down to third it would be a disastrous blow to their confidence.
Who has more to lose from the fixture?
image: © Crystian Cruz