It won’t come as a surprise to hear that this is the game of the weekend, with many under the firm belief that both of these outfits will be the biggest top flight title contenders this year. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the two faced each other in the league and with Chelsea coming out on top in that clash, their opponents will be desperate for revenge.
That game has actually sparked something of a mini setback for Manchester City, who have now gone two games without a win. Such a quote sounds almost ridiculous, but the high standards that Manuel Pellegrini has set this term means that any game which doesn’t end in a victory is questioned. These dropped points have hindered their title push somewhat and while they looked all set to take a resounding lead at the top, they now sit in 3rd place and three points behind leaders Chelsea. Still, let’s not forget that the Etihad Stadium is a fortress and while Chelsea may have been the only English side not to be beaten there, Pellegrini might have more of an idea on how to combat his opposite number’s strategies this time around.
City aren’t the only side who have dropped recent points though, with Chelsea heading into this game on the back of a 1-1 scoreline with West Brom. Nevertheless, they still lead the division and despite what Jose Mourinho might say, they are a massive contender for the championship. There’s no doubt that their victory over City will have done their confidence for this tie the world of good, as will their away form in general. The Blues are now unbeaten in six on the road and after winning four of their last five away games as well, they might just be under the belief that they can achieve the unthinkable and beat City at the Etihad Stadium for the second time in a fortnight.
Few would argue that one of the main reasons for City’s dip in form has been the absence of Sergio Aguero, and the striker will sit this one out again as he nurses a hamstring injury. Elsewhere, Fernandinho will miss out with a thigh problem, although there is better news in relation to Samir Nasri and Javi Garcia who both return to the reckoning. Chelsea on the other hand will not have either of their first choice centre halves available, with both John Terry and Gary Cahill poised to miss out.
Chelsea shocked the country with their comfortable win over City a couple of weeks ago, but we don’t think lightning will strike twice. Without their main defenders they will be vulnerable at the back and bearing this in mind, our tip is going to be a 3-1 victory for Manchester City this time around.