Former Premier League midfielder Jamie Redknapp is backing Chelsea and Manchester City to share the spoils at Stamford Bridge later today, predicting a 1-1 draw in his blog for Sky Sports.
Saturday’s late kick-off at Stamford Bridge is undoubtedly the standout game in the Premier League this weekend as the league’s top two go head to head in a mouth-watering clash.
Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City side, currently five points behind the Blues, simply cannot afford to lose the match, though their task of getting a result is made all the more difficult without the absent Yaya Toure.
The Ivorian international midfielder isn’t the only star player absent as Jose Mourinho has to contend without Cesc Fabregas (barring any late surprises) – injured – and Diego Costa following his three-match suspension.
And Sky Sports pundit Redknapp feels both teams are unlikely to hit top form without their so-called talismans, predicting a cagey draw – a result which will suit Chelsea boss Mourinho.
“It’s going to be a red-hot atmosphere at Stamford Bridge but I reckon the game will end in a 1-1 draw – and Mourinho will settle for that,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“It’s going to be a tight match but Man City have to produce a performance they haven’t looked capable of for the past few games to get something from it and stay in touch with the league leaders.”
A draw between the two sides may please both managers but there is little denying that a victory for the West Londoners would put them in an extremely strong position in the title race.
An eight-point lead has been made up before but, with the Blues facing an arguably easier set of fixtures towards the season’s end, only a brave man would bet against them, as Redknapp concurs.
“Defeat could leave Manchester City in a position where Chelsea’s lead is just too much and, if the home side do win on Saturday night, I’m sure lots of people will be saying the title race is over,” he added.