To be played on Sunday 27th October 2013 at 16:00. Venue: Stamford Bridge, London
Undoubtedly the biggest game of the weekend sees Manuel Pelligrini’s Manchester City team travel to west London to face fellow title hopefuls Chelsea.
Both teams have experienced mixed results this season, especially away from home as City just got their first away win last weekend against West Ham.
Chelsea responded well to going behind against newly promoted Cardiff City last weekend and they will be hoping to preserve their perfect home record so far this season.
You would have to give the advantage to Chelsea with their home record this season and under Jose Mourinho but Manchester City will believe that they have more than enough quality to trouble the Blues’ defence.
Chelsea are still without Ashley Cole through a rib injury but otherwise boast a full compliment of players.
Meanwhile City will be hoping that captain Vincent Kompany will be fit in time to start the game on Sunday.
The Belgian has been out with a thigh problem since before the international break and his presence in the lineup will really help their chances of winning the game.
Oscar is top scorer for Chelsea with 4 goals, whilst Sergio Aguero leads the charts for Manchester City with 6 goals in the league.
Chelsea’s home record: Played 4, Won 4, Drawn 0, Lost 0, Goals For 10, Goals Against 2
Manchester City’s away record: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 2, Goals For 7, Goals Against 7
Chelsea had 65% of the possession in their last match. A 4-1 win at home to Cardiff City
Manchester City had 62% of the possession in their last match. A 3-1 win away to West Ham
Chelsea’s last six games: 3 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss
Manchester City’s last six games: 4 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss
Five players to watch:
The veteran striker got off the mark in a Chelsea shirt last time out against Cardiff and he will be hoping that he can now push on and score some more crucial goals in Chelsea’s fight for the title. He has looked slightly of the pace so far in the Premier League but he now looks like he is getting up to speed.
Torres scored in the Champions League against Schalke in midweek but he hasn’t yet found the net in a league game so far this campaign. He will be working hard to make sure it is in this game, one of Chelsea’s biggest so far.
Big things were expected at the start of the season for Eden Hazard but he hasn’t so far lived up to the billing. It is his second season in the league and he was expected to take the Premier League by storm. This would be a good time to start his good form.
A dominating presence in the City midfield and a crucial factor to any of the team’s successes this season. He will be trying his best to take control of the midfield, where City can really stamp their authority on the game. Toure usually saves his best performances for the big games and this will no doubt be any different. I don’t think that Chelsea can match up to his physicality in the middle of the park.
With Ashley Cole out injured this could be an excellent opportunity for Jesus Navas to really make an impact in the Premier League. His speed and tricks can cause any defender problems and for a back up even more so. His threat could cause Chelsea to overcompensate, leaving other areas of the field vulnerable to attack.
Last time they met:
Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea – 24th February 2013, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City struck twice after the hour mark to secure the three points against Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea.
Strikes from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez ended any hopes Chelsea had of taking anything from the game. The visitors had a chance to take the lead earlier in the game but Frank Lampard’s penalty was well saved by Joe Hart and that was all the momentum Man City needed to push on and win the game.
The result dealt a blow to Chelsea’s top four hopes while City closed the gap on Manchester United at the top of the league, although it would end up to big a gap to make up.
What is your prediction for the game?
image: © Ben Sutherland