Man City v CHELSEA: Preview

Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: Sunday, 16 August 2015
Kick-off: 16:00 BST

If everyone can stop sympathising with our medical staff for 90 minutes and take a break from castigating big, bad Jose Mourinho, there’s a small matter of a trip to the Etihad to focus on this afternoon.
Not unusually for our boss, there’s no love lost between him and the opposing manager and it won’t have pleased Mourinho to have seen Manuel Pellegrini get off to a flyer against West Brom. In fact, our opening performance and result compared to the competition won’t have pleased Jose at all. Whether that serves to be a good or bad thing for Chelsea, time will tell.
Last season, this fixture gave us a point after a late equaliser from Frank Lampard to rub salt into our wounds. This season, returning to Manchester as Premier League champions, you’d have to say we’d gladly take a draw if we play anything like we did in the opening game of the season.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into this afternoon’s game, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says “We are not thinking about the title in the second game but we are thinking about trying to win our points at home, especially as we are playing against the champions and one of the teams that has a lot of chances to win the title.”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho meanwhile, insists “We are speaking about 38 matches. It is an eternity, a marathon that started last week. I cannot say [this match] is not crucial, I cannot say it’s not very, very, very important. They are title contenders so three points are important, but I cannot say that a win will mean anything significant.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Manchester City, Fabian Delph (hamstring) and Fernando (groin) are injured, Gael Clichy (ankle) will get a late test but Yaya Toure (groin) is fit. Sergio Aguero is also back in contention.
For Chelsea, Thibaut Courtois serves one game on the naughty step, so will be replaced by Asmir Begovic. Oscar is unlikely to play after suffering a minor injury in training but Diego Costa is ok to start.

TEAMS
MAN CITY (Possible line-up): Hart, Sagna, Kompany (c), Mangala, Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho, Navas, Silva, Sterling, Aguero.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Begovic, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta, Matic, Mikel, Willian, Fabregas, Hazard, Costa.

LAST SEASON
Man City 1-1 Chelsea (21st September 2014)

RECENT FORM
Man City: WLLDWW
Chelsea: DLLDDL

OTHER STUFF
•City have won their last seven home games in the league
•City have kept six clean sheets in their last seven home games
•Chelsea have kept only one clean sheet in their last six league games.
•Chelsea last failed to win either of their opening two Premier League games in 1998.
•Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four games against City in the league
•Chelsea have won just one of their previous seven games at the Etihad

PREDICTION
We’ve only won one of our last seven games away to City. Our defence looked shaky at home last week and the red card has left us without the safety net of Coutois behind them for this one. What’s to predict?

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