CHELSEA v Manchester City: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Sunday, 27 October

Kick-off: 16.00 GMT

 

It’s a home game against City in today’s late kick-off and hopefully a better return than last season’s drab 0-0.

Of course much has changed since then. City have added to an already quality side but then so have we, so we can’t have any complaints there. Unlike last season, we can’t complain about our manager for this game either – Jose Mourinho has already added some much needed positivity and unity at Stamford Bridge and whilst the past couple of seasons has seen clubs arriving with every intention of having a pop at us at home, they’re unlikely to find it quite so easy with Mourinho back where he belongs.

As for City, whilst we undoubtedly have to keep Aguero quiet somehow, Vincent Kompany will be notable in his absence, so if we’re to get at their defence, now’s as good a time as any. As for their manager, Pellegrini hasn’t had much enjoyment from his away days with City so far and Mourinho will expect the same lack of benevolence from his players today that he’s extended to the current City boss in their past lives.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho exerts a little verbal pressure on today’s opponents, insisting “You have to say that City are favourites.  You said that in 2004 and 2005 about Chelsea.  They are a very good team, two very good teams. One playing and another one on the bench and in the stands. A fantastic squad and fantastic players.  Yaya Toure is a fantastic player. He gives them everything: leadership, defensive work, attacking work, goals, set-plays, physicality, experience.

We are going to play our game and let’s see if that’s enough.  At this moment, with the way the Premier League is going week after week, I think no result will put a team in a great situation and no result will put a team in a difficult situation.   Every weekend somebody loses points. Some weekends, more than one of the top teams lose points. The league is hard. At this stage, in mid-October, I don’t think one game is going to be crucial.”

City manager Manuel Pellegrini meanwhile, agrees with Mourinho on the significance of games at this stage of the season, saying “It’s an important game but it will decide nothing.” Whilst on his counterpart, Pellegrini says “I don’t know Mourinho. I know his career. He has his way and I respect him. But there are different ways to play. There are different ways to go about what you say, what you don’t say.  We are very different. I’m not  telling you I don’t like Jose. I am a different person with a different style, not only in football.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Marco van Ginkel (ligament) is a long term absentee although Ashley Cole (ribs) could be fit again.

For City, the news is that Jack Rodwell (hamstring) has recovered from his injury but Vincent Kompany (thigh) hasn’t made it back for this game and Martin Demichelis (knee) isn’t ready for his debut either.

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Bertrand, Lampard, Ramires, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Torres.

CITY (Possible line-up): Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Koralov; Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, Silva; Ageuro, Negredo

 

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 0-0 City (25th November 2012)

 

PREDICTION

City have won seven of the last 10 meetings in all competitions yet, in 15 trips to Stamford Bridge, they’ve had just one win (February 2010), so it’s probably a good thing we’re unbeaten in the league at home in 13 games, with Mourinho winning all 4 at home so far this season. Mind you, whilst we haven’t conceded more than one goal in a Premier League game so far this season, City are the first team in the league with 20 goals, so something’s bound to give today!

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