Chelsea v Manchester City - Five key battles

The key match ups which could decide the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester City this Sunday.

Chelsea could go top of the league this weekend if they beat Manchester City and Arsenal slip up away to Crystal Palace.

The Blues seem to be over a dodgy start to the season and Jose Mourinho will have everyone focused on getting the West London side into a good position by the turn of the year.

Manchester City are in the same position and could go top of the league on goal difference with a good win in this game.

City look as though they are going to be well in the hunt for the Premier League title throughout the season and the depth in their squad means the side will retain strength throughout the campaign.

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Here are the key battles which will go a long way to deciding the game.

Petr Cech v Joe Hart

Big games between big teams always rely on the goalkeepers to keep their sides in the game while under pressure.

Cech and Hart are arguably the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League. They can both make a variety of saves from different positions and they are both world class in terms of distribution.

It will be interesting to see who has more to do and who performs more effectively during the game.

Gary Cahill v Sergio Aguero

Cahill will be under a lot of pressure if he retains his starting place because he’s likely to be matched up against Sergio Aguero.

Aguero is a very slippery, quick and difficult striker to stay on top of because his movement is so diverse. Cahill can’t afford to be overly aggressive because City have the players who can exploit pockets of space, especially if Cahill us stepping out of defence to press.

Ramires v David Silva

Silva is likely to be named on the left of City’s midfield but he won’t stay there, he’ll drift into central positions where he’s more effective.

See also: Chelsea to swoop for Europe's hottest striker - but do they need him?

Ramires needs to read the play well, cancelling out the threat of the Spaniard before he can have an effect on the game. Fortunately for Chelsea, their midfield is diverse enough that Ramires can move away from a position protecting the centre backs to take care of Silva’s threat.

Frank Lampard v Yaya Toure

This will be a battle between the two heavyweights in either midfield.

Toure is a very diverse player who can hold in midfield or get forward to support the attack while Lampard has been making effective runs from deep positions for what seems like an eternity.

Whichever player can get forward and support his attack most effectively is likely to be on the winning side.

Fernando Torres v Matija Nastasic

Nastasic will be City’s primary defender if Joleon Lescott doesn’t come into the team.

Torres deserves the chance to lead the attack after a brace against FC Schalke and he’s looked like the best centre forward at Chelsea so far this season.

Torres will try and use all of his experience and knowledge to get the better of Nastasic who has the edge over the Spaniard in a physical sense, being slightly quicker and more aggressive.

See also: Real Madrid out of £53m striker chase, Prem clubs now lead?

image: © geetarchurchy

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