Jose Mourinho topped up his tally of wins against Pellegrini when we met at the Etihad earlier this month. He also undoubtedly notched up the number of pins the City boss stuck into the replica doll he keeps for such meetings with a bit of teasing in the press.
Any verbal sparring goes out the window this evening though because it’s really up to our players to do their talking on the pitch – and against a City side we’ve already taken six points off in the league, that may be a big ask!
Going into this evening’s game, City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists “I think it’ll be a very similar game as we have a style of play that we don’t change, no matter who we’re against. From the other game, we know also that we have to try not to be very open on the counter-attack. And if we play well, there is no reason we cannot beat them.”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho meanwhile, says “It’s not easy to play consecutive matches against the same team, exactly because you try to read the previous game and try to improve things and try to analyse the mistakes and try to analyse the opponent again. The game was very equal. Are we confident? Yes, but I believe they are confident. Are they worried? I believe so, but we are too.”
For City, Sergio Aguero (hamstring) Fernandinho (thigh) remain sidelined but Javi Garcia (muscle strain) and Samir Nasri (knee) have both recovered from injury. Toure, as Mourinho subtly pointed out, probably should be serving a ban – but isn’t.
For Chelsea, Marco van Ginkel (cruciate) remains out and Gary Cahill (calf) joins John Terry on the sick list.
MAN CITY (Possible line-up): Pantilimon, Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Silva, Toure, Jesus Navas, Dzeko, Jovetic.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Cole, Luiz, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Willian, Lampard, Matic, Ramires, Hazard, Torres
Man City 0-1 Chelsea (3rd February 2014)
It’s our fifth meeting with City in the FA Cup and so far, it’s 3 wins for them to our one. And whilst we’ve won the FA Cup 7 times now, City have been in two of the last 3 finals, losing to Wigan last season. We’ve already done the double over them in the Premier League this season though so it’s probably a bit too much to think we can make that a treble.